Impact of Music Tempo on Simulated Driving Performance
Authors: Jordan Navarro, Emanuelle Reynaud
Abstract: It is known that drivers often listen to music when they are in their vehicle. Listening to music while driving can impact drivers’ behaviours in several ways, through emotion induction or arousal changes for instance. It has already been shown that various musical tracks with different tempos (i.e. the music pace) can impair drivers’ performances (Brodsky, 2002). The current study focused on the impact of music tempo on vehicular control by using the same music track played at different tempos. Four experimental conditions associated with four different versions of the same track, differing only by their tempos, have been used while participants had to follow a lead vehicle and then drive with no particular constraints. Participants had to drive in a simulated environment without music, with the music track of their choice, with the music of their choice but with a modified tempo (+10% of the regular tempo and -10% of the regular tempo). Results indicated that the music tempo slightly changed the level of arousal of participants as observed through heart rate and subjective questionnaires data. However these changes in the arousal level did not translate into driving behaviours modifications (i.e. inter-vehicle time while following a lead vehicle and speed in free driving context).
Keywords: Music, Driving, Tempo, Driving Behaviour, Arousal.
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