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We all know that music has the power to alter behaviors like when Lady Gaga makes you dance or Alanis Morissette helps you work through a difficult break up. But music also helps us get through more mundane times, like the workday.

A recent study in the Journal of Organizational Behavior  took a close look at how music effects cooperation. Researchers put 78 college students into groups, one exposed to happy music and the other to unhappy music. Individuals had to decide how much money they wanted to put into a group pool and how much they wanted to keep for themselves. To increase cooperation, money put into the pool would be multiplied one and a half times before being split evenly. The results showed that contributions into the pool were about a third higher with happy music than with unhappy music.

Listening to music you like is not just good for group work. A music therapy expert at the University of Miami conducted a study with 56 computer developers who were asked to keep a detailed music log. In the log participants recorded how they felt before and after listening to music, how long they listened to music, and their overall selections. The log was then compared to their overall quality of work. The results showed that developers came up with better ideas and worked faster with music on. Without music they had poorer work quality overall.

So, music may make you more cooperative and increase your productivity. What do you listen to when you want to get some serious work done? Here is a playlist we have running at THYNKgroup when its time to get our creative juices flowing:

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