The Effects of Background Music on Game-Based Learning: A Cognitive Style Approach

Tzu Chi Yang, Meng Chang Chen, Sherry Y. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Game-based learning is popular with learners because it includes various game elements. Among various game elements, background music may have great effects, which may be associated with the preferences of information processing. On the other hand, cognitive styles pertain to the ways of information processing. In this vein, we conducted two empirical studies to investigate the influences of background music provided by game-based learning from a cognitive style perspective. The results from Study One revealed that background music might not be appreciated by Serialists while background music had no effects on Holists’ information processing. However, the results from Study Two suggested that Holists could benefit from mismatching background music while matching/mismatching had no effects on Serialists’ information processing. In other words, cognitive styles affect learners’ reactions to background music. Based on the results of the aforementioned two studies, implications in theoretical and methodological aspects for further research are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-508
Number of pages14
JournalAsia-Pacific Education Researcher
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Background music
  • Cognitive styles
  • Game-based learning
  • Learning behavior
  • Music effects


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