Refined Idea

Question:

Is the ease with which participants can recall and replicate a musical rhythm impacted by their beliefs as to whether that rhythm was produced by a human or a computer?

Possible Theory, Conjecture, and Hypothesis:

Human beings find it easier to remember events containing emotional information than those that do not because we prefer social conditions, environments, and interactions to asocial ones.  Under this theory, we hypothesize that participants will be better at recalling and replicating rhythms they believe to be produced by humans than those produced by computers, as they will ascribe more emotional context to the human-produced piece.

Alternatively, a computer can produce a work that does not carry variations in microtiming, expressive or otherwise.  Under this, we hypothesize that participants will find it easier to recall and replicate those rhythms they believe were produced by a computer, as they will interpret such rhythms as exact and absolute.

Operationalization of First Hypothesis:
“… we hypothesize that participants will be better at recalling and replicating rhythms they believe to be produced by humans than those produced by computers…”

Participants = Students from Yale College and the Yale School of Music aged 18-25

Better Recall and Replication = We will ask participants to reproduce the rhythm exactly (to the best of their ability) after hearing it.  We anticipate a significantly higher accuracy in this task in the “human belief” condition(s).  Further refinement of our method will happen after we feel more confident in knowing what others have done.

Believe and Produced= Two recordings will be created, one by having a human being play a rhythm and one by having a computer generate a piece using the exact written timing of that rhythm.  Participants will be told either nothing about the origin of the piece (control), that a computer produced the rhythm, or that a human produced the rhythm.

One thought on “Refined Idea

  1. One question we did not address was whether your participants would be doing all the tasks or whether they will be placed in a group following the different belief/reality conditions. For the purpose of statistical analysis, it is preferable to have all participants do all conditions, unless you think this could negatively impact the procedure in some way.

Comments are closed.