Anyone who grew up in the latter part of the 20th century has probably heard the popular theory that having infants listen to Mozart helps with cognitive development. In fact it was a plot point in the recently released The Incredibles 2, in which baby Jack-Jack further develops his superpowers by listening to the classical composer.
But a recent article in the Huffington Post revealed this is, in fact, a myth.
This "Incredibles 2" motif is sadly incredibly bogus. https://t.co/J4tVKpSzh2— HuffPost Parents (@HuffPostParents) July 2, 2018
Professor Christopher Chabris, a cognitive psychologist at Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania and co-author of The Invisible Gorilla, told HuffPost:
It won’t surprise you to hear that there is no scientific evidence that listening to Mozart can bring out super powers in a baby, or anyone else.
In the 1990s, many music companies put out CDs and videos based on exactly this idea, e.g. ‘Mozart Makes You Smarter,’ ‘Baby Mozart,’ which led to ‘Baby Einstein’ and related products. However, the truth is that after many studies, there is no reason to believe that listening to Mozart’s music will make anyone smarter: not adults, not children, not babies, not fetuses.
And he wasn’t the only one.
Jakob Pietschnig, a psychologist at the University of Vienna who has also studied the “Mozart Effect,” said:
The evidence for a performance-enhancing effect of music exposure is depressingly little (i.e., virtually zero).
But there was one ray of light:
It is pretty clear that mere exposure to Mozart/classical music does not do anything to enhance intelligence. However, there are some accounts that suggest that music training may be linked to cognitive abilities to a certain extent.
Not surprisingly, Jack-Jack’s powers are more likely caused by genetics than Mozart.
That didn’t stop people from wanting to believe:
So was Jack-Jack powers activated by Mozart in the first Incredibles when Kari plays music for him because "leading experts say, Mozart makes babies smart"?— Disney Trivia Blog (@DisTriviaBlog) June 27, 2018
Brilliant theory I totally agree with!— Imagineer Podcast (@imagineeraudio) June 27, 2018
Ohhh never thought of that pic.twitter.com/MGjZpdS4P0— The Pixie Dusted Planner (@PixieDPlanner) June 27, 2018
Makes complete sense!— Two Scoops Travel (@2ScoopsTravel) June 27, 2018
Wow!!! pic.twitter.com/P0Oji1xqGS— Caitlin McCaughey (@Ceighty) June 27, 2018
Mozart’s greatest accomplishment is unlocking Jack-Jack’s powers. Don’t @ me.— Shawn Naseiro (@SNaseiro) June 28, 2018
You now what I just realized, in #JackJackAttack Kari put on Mozart so that Jack Jack’s brain could develop and grow. As soon as she put on Mozart is when he started using his powers. In #Incredibles2 Edna discovered that his powers def react to Mozart. Anyways...— ?Meli?? (@CannibalBombs) June 25, 2018
Sorry to burst your collective bubble!