The efficacy of musical emotions provoked by Mozart's music for the reconciliation of cognitive dissonance
Debates on the origin and function of music have a long history. While some scientists argue that music itself plays no adaptive role in human evolution, others suggest that music clearly has an evolutionary role, and point to music's universality. A recent hypothesis suggested that a fundamental function of music has been to help mitigating cognitive dissonance, which is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting cognitions simultaneously. It usually leads to devaluation of conflicting knowledge. Here we provide experimental confirmation of this hypothesis using a classical paradigm known to create cognitive dissonance. Results of our experiment reveal that the exposure to Mozart's music exerted a strongly positive influence upon the performance of young children and served as basis by which they were enabled to reconcile the cognitive dissonance.