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AP I Cambridge Capstone Program

Research Project Outline Proposal Form

Please read the instructions printed on the reverse before completing this form. Name of Center Candidate Name Syllabus Title Hong Kong International School Elliot James Williams AP Capstone Pilot Center Number Candidate Number Syllabus Code Component Number June Year 2014 X0008 X0026

If this is a re-submission, please check box Examination/Assessment Session: Title of Proposal

Does playing music in the workplace help or hinder worker productivity?

Details of Proposal (see over)

My aim in this research paper is to analyse and synthesise evidence related the effects of music on the productivity of various workplace environments into a comprehensive research paper outlining all viewpoints therein. There are various conflicting studies purporting the supposed advantages and disadvantages of music being played in various productive environments, such as school or the workplace. Dwelling exclusively on one environment would limit my scope in a way that would severely restrict the sources I might be able to write about. Thus, in my analysis of the evidence, I will examine the differing effects that different genres of music have in different workplace environments. In regards to the debate about whether or not music in the workplace augments or detracts from productivity, there are two schools of thought. On the one hand, studies and archives by reliable institutions such as the University of Cambridge purport that boosted morale that can result from music being played in environments that perform menial labour. This viewpoint originated during the second world war (Yoder), and this boost in morale has been shown to directly correspond to an increase in productivity. For example, in a study performed by Dr. Adrian C. North of Curtin University, workers responsible for clearing cheques were seen to have a 12.5% increase in cheque clearing when played fast, happy music as opposed to the control in which the workers were not played any music at all. `The viewpoint that I have not yet mentioned argues that music can ultimately prove to be more distracting than not, and this distraction itself can detract from productive environments. This school of thought is supported by a study from Dr. Peter Tse of the Wenzo Ursuline College of Languages, who performed a study on Taiwanese university students. This study ultimately supported the conclusion that music did more harm than good when it was played while the aforementioned Taiwanese students were trying to memorise various stowords in order. Additionally, as a musician I am quite interested in this topic because the whole process of analysing music in various environments speaks to me as interesting. I could easily complete a comprehensive paper on while remaining engaged.

Cambridge International Examinations 2012

Works Cited

orth, Adrian C. "The Value of Music: The Effects of Music in the Workplace: A Review of the Psychological Evidence." PRS for Music (2004): n. pag. Web. Tse, Peter. "Attention Drainage Effect." Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 10.1 (2010): 3646. EBSCO. Web. 16 Sept. 2013. Yoder, Robert M. "Background Music." Saturday Evening Post [Indianapolis, Indiana] Dec. 1958: n. pag. Print.

Date Comments:

Advisers Initials For CIE use only: APPROVED APPROVED WITH PROVISO (see comments) NOT APPROVED

Date More information required Approval not required; please see comments

Cambridge International Examinations 2012


This form should be sent to CIE by email by November 15 in the year before examination, or earlier. One form should be used for each candidate (except in certain cases where only one form for the subject is required). If extra space is required to complete the outline proposal a second OPF should be used. Please ensure that the appropriate boxes at the top of the form are completed. If this portion is not correctly completed, it will be necessary to return the form. The outline should normally include: (i) the title or aim of the piece of work; (ii) a brief list of sources; (iii) a bibliography; (iv) a project proposal and explanation of how the question will lead to the sustained analysis and evaluation needed to meet AO3 and AO4. The completed form must be emailed before the candidate starts the work. The form will be returned with the advisers comments and should be included in the completed study after the title page. The form should be emailed, via the center, to CIEOPF@cie.org.uk. A copy of the proposal form should be retained. Proposals which are being re-submitted must be accompanied by the original proposal; those candidates adjusting their proposal in line with the advisers comment need not resubmit. Centers should expect to receive the outcome for their proposal within 4 weeks from acknowledgement. If this is not received please telephone Cambridge International Examinations Customer Services on 01223 553554 or email international@cie.org.uk.

Cambridge International Examinations 2012

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