The influence of rhythm and personality in the endurance response to motivational asynchronous music

J Sports Sci. 2006 Feb;24(2):187-95. doi: 10.1080/02640410500131514.


In this study, we examined participants' responses to motivational asynchronous music by isolating rhythmical properties and exploring personality correlates. Fifty-eight physically active participants (41 men and 17 women) aged 22.3 +/- 6.4 years performed an isometric weight-holding task on three occasions while being randomly exposed to no music, rhythm and motivational music. The rhythm and music conditions were edited portions of the same musical selection and had identical fast tempi, although the rhythm condition contained no melody, harmonies or lyrics. Participants each completed a copy of Cattell's 16PF following the third and final trial. A repeated-measures analysis of variance found the participants held the weight suspended for significantly longer when listening to motivational music in comparison to rhythm or no music. When listening to rhythm, participants endured the task for significantly longer than when listening to no music. The response to music was found to be significantly related to liveliness, while sensitivity correlated with responses to music factors (harmony, melody, lyrics, etc.) not present in the rhythm condition. These results suggest that responses to motivational music are subtle in nature and are determined by both musical factors and individual characteristics, and potentially an interaction between the two.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Music*
  • Personality*
  • Physical Endurance*
  • United Kingdom
  • Weight Lifting / psychology*