The effect of preferred music listening on stress levels of air traffic controllers

Teresa Lesiuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The effect of preferred music listening on stress levels of 33 air traffic controllers (31 males, mean age = 34) was examined. A stratified random sample was employed to evenly represent Extraversion-Introversion and Low-High-Trait Anxiety in the experimental conditions. The control condition was sitting in silence, while the experimental condition was preferred music listening. Dependent variables included heart rate, mean arterial pressure, state anxiety, and perceived air traffic activity. Results indicated that in both the control and experimental conditions state anxiety levels significantly decreased over time (p < .05), with no difference in decrease between the conditions. There were no significant differences in physiological measures found between or within groups. However, a significant interaction effect revealed that the group with High-Trait Anxiety and Introversion experienced no decrease in state anxiety over time. This same personality combination also perceived significantly higher air traffic activity than the three other personality combination types. Self-reports of degree of liking the music and effectiveness in stress reduction indicate a positive report of music in reducing work stress for air traffic controllers. This study contributes to the development of a model that aspires to elucidate music and workplace interactions; as well, it has implications for music therapy practice in organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Air traffic control
  • Anxiety
  • Extraversion
  • Introversion
  • Music
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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