The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher

, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 495–508 | Cite as

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

  • Tzu-Chi Yang
  • Meng Chang Chen
  • Sherry Y. ChenEmail author
Regular Article


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.


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



The authors would like to thank Mr. M. Hsu for his assistance in conducting the experiment. This work was partially supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (MOST 105-2511-S-008 -004 -MY3).


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Copyright information

© De La Salle University 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tzu-Chi Yang
    • 1
  • Meng Chang Chen
    • 2
  • Sherry Y. Chen
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Big Data Research Center & Institute of EducationNational Chiao Tung UniversityHsinchuTaiwan
  2. 2.Institute of Information ScienceAcademia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Graduate Institute of Network Learning TechnologyNational Central UniversityZhongliTaiwan

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