Previous research has found that the performance of introverts on complex cognitive tasks is more negatively affected by distracters, e.g. music and background noise, than the performance of extraverts. The present study extends previous research by examining whether or not background noise would prove to be as distracting as music. In the presence of silence, background UK garage music and background noise, 118 female secondary school students carried out three cognitive tests. It was predicted that introverts would do less well on all of the tasks than extraverts in the presence of music and noise but in silence performance would be the same. A significant interaction was found on all three of the tasks. It was also predicted that there would be a main effect of background sound: Performance would be worse in the presence of music and noise than silence. Results confirmed this prediction with one exception. This study also found a positive correlation between extraversion and intelligence, the implications of which are also discussed. The findings support the Eysenckian hypothesis of the difference in optimum cortical arousal in introverts and extraverts.
Source: “The effect of background music and noise on the cognitive test performance of introverts and extraverts” from Applied Cognitive Psychology