Quick access to main page (top) Direct access to main contents Quick access to main page (bottom)

Why That Song Won’t Stop Playing in Your Head: Science Behind Earworms

daily Views  

Have you ever hummed a tune all day long that you heard just once? The earworm effect is a common occurrence where a particular melody repeats in your mind against your will, which is experienced by most of the global population. Over 90% of people undergo at least once a week, with one in four experiencing it multiple times a day. But why does this happen?

What is the Earworm Effect?

The earworm effect, also known as earworm, refers to a specific melody or set of lyrics that keeps playing in your head all day, causing you to hum along. It is also interpreted as imaginary music or involuntary semantic memory. The term earworm was coined since people refer to this feeling as if they have a repetitive singing worm that won’t stop playing the tune in their head.

What Causes the Earworm Effect?

Why does the earworm effect occur? According to what we know, it’s a way for the brain to alleviate stress. When in a high-stress situation, such as facing an important exam, the body secretes the stress hormone cortisol, and the brain attempts to lessen the stress by diverting attention from one focal point to another. During this process, a specific part of the most memorable song you’ve heard recently may start to play on repeat.

It Can Induce a Pleasant Mood

According to a music psychology doctor in the UK, the earworm effect can instigate a pleasant mood. However, people find this phenomenon annoying since they fail to recognize their tasks in stressful situations.

Lasts Longer in Women than Men

The earworm effect lasts longer in women than men, and people in the music industry are more sensitive to it. According to research, songs with lyrics cause the earworm effect more frequently than instrumental music.

Songs that Cause the Earworm Effect

SM Entertainment 

The characteristics of songs that cause the earworm effect include a familiar melody, a slightly fast beat, and irregular intervals of notes.

Can Decrease Concentration

While the earworm effect can help alleviate tension in high-stress situations, it can also decrease concentration. This is why some highly addictive songs are called prohibited songs for exam takers. The severity and frequency of the earworm effect vary from person to person. In severe cases, it can disrupt daily life to the extent that people seek psychiatric help.

Chewing Gum Can Help

One way to overcome the earworm effect is to chew gum. The part of the brain responsible for listening to and remembering music is connected to the part of the brain that controls the movement of the mouth, so the earworm effect is less likely to occur when you chew food or talk.

Doing Sudoku or Puzzles

Solving Sudoku puzzles or other tasks can also reduce the earworm effect. The brain tends to focus on simple and regular games rather than acknowledging that it’s under stress, reducing the symptoms of the earworm effect and decreasing stress levels.

Avoid Addictive Songs

The earworm effect is more noticeable with songs that have lyrics, so listening to rhythm-only music or natural sounds like waves and rain or white noise can help alleviate the symptoms. Experts also suggest that if you find the specific song that’s causing the earworm effect and listen to it from beginning to end, the effect may disappear.

daily
content@viewusglobal.com

Comments0

300

Comments0

[LIFESTYLE] Latest Stories

  • Aircraft Hygiene Gets a Major Upgrade: What You Need to Know About the New Checks
  • New Nasal Spray Shows Promise in Alzheimer’s Treatment
  • New York Says No to Whipped Cream for Teens: What You Need to Know!
  • South Koreans Are Chicken Fanatics: 26 Chickens Per Year! See the Surprising Stats
  • How Spain Is Using Goats and Sheep to Battle Wildfire Season
  • When Eye Contact Is Your Enemy: 10 Scary Reality of Scopophobia

Weekly Best Articles

  • Teen Set on Fire by Classmates For Speaking Indigenous Language in Mexico
  • Will Trump and Kim Jong Un Sit Down Again? North Korea Says It’s Up to U.S. Actions
  • Leidos Hit by Major Hack: Sensitive U.S. Government Documents Leaked
  • China Cracks Down: Teachers and Students Forced to Hand Over Passports
  • Ex-North Korean Diplomat Reveals Why So Many Officials Were Trying to Escape
  • Delta Air Lines Faces U.S. Investigation Over Mass Flight Cancellations
  • Secret Service Chief Resigns After Trump Shooting Incident
  • McDonald’s Extends $5 Meal Deal to Beat Inflation Blues
  • Trump and DeChambeau Break Records and Donate Big: The Golf Match Everyone’s Talking About
  • Kamala Harris Leads Trump in Latest Poll: Is She the New Democratic Darling?
  • China Pushes for a No-First-Use Policy on Nuclear Weapons – Targeting U.S. and Allies?
  • China Plays Peacemaker: 14 Palestinian Groups Sign Historic Peace Declaration

You May Also Like

  • 1
    Lonely Deaths Hit Younger Generation Hard: Why Are We Seeing a Surge in Tragic Outcomes

    ASIA 

  • 2
    Is Kamala Harris Ready to Break Barriers in the 2024 Election?

    WORLD 

  • 3
    Chinese Media Reacts to Biden's Dropout: 'The Real Fight is Coming!'

    LATEST 

  • 4
    China's Silence on Biden's Exit: What Are They Really Thinking?

    LATEST 

  • 5
    U.S., South Korea, and Japan Forge New Defense Agreements!

    LATEST 

Popular Now

  • 1
    After 8 Years, North Korean Athletes Ready to Compete in Paris!

    SPORTS 

  • 2
    Can AI Replace Our Loved Ones? Controversial Technology Letting You Talk to the Dead

    LATEST 

  • 3
    Spain’s Vacation Hotspots in Chaos: Why Locals Are Telling Tourists to ‘Get Out!’

    WORLD 

  • 4
    Magic Mushrooms vs. Reality: What Psilocybin Did to This Neurologist’s Brain Is Mind-Boggling

    DEBATE 

  • 5
    What Biden's Exit Means for Bitcoin: A $100K Dream?

    BUSINESS 

Weekly Best Articles

  • Teen Set on Fire by Classmates For Speaking Indigenous Language in Mexico
  • Will Trump and Kim Jong Un Sit Down Again? North Korea Says It’s Up to U.S. Actions
  • Leidos Hit by Major Hack: Sensitive U.S. Government Documents Leaked
  • China Cracks Down: Teachers and Students Forced to Hand Over Passports
  • Ex-North Korean Diplomat Reveals Why So Many Officials Were Trying to Escape
  • Delta Air Lines Faces U.S. Investigation Over Mass Flight Cancellations
  • Secret Service Chief Resigns After Trump Shooting Incident
  • McDonald’s Extends $5 Meal Deal to Beat Inflation Blues
  • Trump and DeChambeau Break Records and Donate Big: The Golf Match Everyone’s Talking About
  • Kamala Harris Leads Trump in Latest Poll: Is She the New Democratic Darling?
  • China Pushes for a No-First-Use Policy on Nuclear Weapons – Targeting U.S. and Allies?
  • China Plays Peacemaker: 14 Palestinian Groups Sign Historic Peace Declaration

Must-Reads

  • 1
    Lonely Deaths Hit Younger Generation Hard: Why Are We Seeing a Surge in Tragic Outcomes

    ASIA 

  • 2
    Is Kamala Harris Ready to Break Barriers in the 2024 Election?

    WORLD 

  • 3
    Chinese Media Reacts to Biden's Dropout: 'The Real Fight is Coming!'

    LATEST 

  • 4
    China's Silence on Biden's Exit: What Are They Really Thinking?

    LATEST 

  • 5
    U.S., South Korea, and Japan Forge New Defense Agreements!

    LATEST 

Popular Now

  • 1
    After 8 Years, North Korean Athletes Ready to Compete in Paris!

    SPORTS 

  • 2
    Can AI Replace Our Loved Ones? Controversial Technology Letting You Talk to the Dead

    LATEST 

  • 3
    Spain’s Vacation Hotspots in Chaos: Why Locals Are Telling Tourists to ‘Get Out!’

    WORLD 

  • 4
    Magic Mushrooms vs. Reality: What Psilocybin Did to This Neurologist’s Brain Is Mind-Boggling

    DEBATE 

  • 5
    What Biden's Exit Means for Bitcoin: A $100K Dream?

    BUSINESS 

Share it on...