Burnout and music use in a high-cognitive demand occupation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


There is stress in the computer information systems industry that affects work performanceand employee wellness [1, 2, 3]. The nature of the business of creating information systems iscompetitive and frequently involves aggressive deadlines. The designers and developers ofthese systems are required to be highly innovative and efficient in the face of constant timepressures. The leading consequence of the stressors is reported as increased frustration which"negatively impacts a job that requires high levels of discipline, focus, and systematicthinking" [1, p. 73].In contrast, evidence from psychological literature suggests that mild positive moodscontribute to creative problem solving in task performance [4]. Increases in positive moodhelped explain the improved work performance of computer information systems developers(CISD) when working with preferred music [5]. In a recent study examining the prevalence ofpersonality type and music use [6] in two different CISD groups, there were twice as manyindividuals with introversion than with extraversion; a trend opposite to the general populationof nearly a two to one ratio of extraverts to introverts. Those with introversion also hadsignificantly greater negative mood than those with extraversion, with possible interference tooptimal work performance. Introverts, more so than extraverts, are reported to make use ofmusic for emotional regulation [7]. Thus, there is a need to account for the way in whichmusic influences these individual differences and consequential work performance.Greater evidence of the beneficial use of music in this high-stress occupation is neededand should be addressed by a) obtaining an objective productivity score, as compared topreviously self-reported productivity measures, and b) accounting for differential musiceffects on productivity for extraversion and introversion, and c) accounting for the effect of atimed music-condition for work performance.Research from organization science is currently emphasizing the role of daily moods injob behaviors, job satisfaction, and work outcomes [8], as well as the importance of enhancingself-adaptation, referred to as "thriving", in the workplace. [9]. Additionally, differences in personality type will determine differential mood and arousal needs and consequential workoutcomes [10]. This article contributes to the research on affect in the organizationalliterature, and, is pioneering in music-organizational literature for music psychology andmusic therapy. Lastly, the findings have practical implications for management of highcognitivedemand, high-stress occupations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMusic
Subtitle of host publicationComposition, Interpretation and Effects
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781608761708
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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