x

We are happy to announce that all trial registrations will now be issued DOIs (digital object identifiers). For more information, see here.
Classical Music and Productivity: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in a Call Center
Last registered on January 23, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Classical Music and Productivity: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in a Call Center
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001146
Initial registration date
April 01, 2016
Last updated
January 23, 2019 10:43 AM EST
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Bristol
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Univerity of Warwick
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2016-04-10
End date
2016-05-07
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study will examine the effect of music on workers' productivity. The setting is a large call-centre business in the United Kingdom, which
has agreed to cooperate with our research team. This study will use a randomized trial to find out whether, in a real workplace, productivity
is higher when workers hear background classical music. The control condition will be hearing no music. Music will be played at randomly
assigned times during the day. The identities of the employees will change through time, but the playing of the music will be orthogonal to
those identities. To reduce possible problems from the multiple-comparisons problem (also known as the multiple-hypothesis testing problem), only one productivity variable will be studied in this project, and only one kind of music will be played. To gain the necessary statistical power, the experiment will take place over approximately 2 weeks.

External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Oswald, Andrew and Eugenio Proto. 2019. "Classical Music and Productivity: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in a Call Center." AEA RCT Registry. January 23. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1146-6.0.
Former Citation
Oswald, Andrew and Eugenio Proto. 2019. "Classical Music and Productivity: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in a Call Center." AEA RCT Registry. January 23. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1146/history/40539.
Sponsors & Partners

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
This study will use a randomized trial to find out whether, in a real workplace, productivity is higher when workers hear background classical music. The control condition will be hearing no music. We will also collect data a week before and a week after the intervention. Music will be played at randomly assigned times during the day, for the entire period between 18th April and 1st of May. The working day is from 7am-11pm (16 hours). The music will be played throughout the day withing interval of 2 hours each. Each two hours-slot will be randomly selected ex-ante using Stata. The music will be selected by the expert of classic FM in a way to induce happiness and avoiding sadness. The identities of the employees will change through time, but the playing of the music will be orthogonal to those identities. In total we will get data from 100 employees, not informed about the experiment.
Intervention Start Date
2016-04-18
Intervention End Date
2016-05-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our main measure of productivity:

-ACW (after call work) is the total in seconds within a time slot- the average number of seconds it takes to deal with the query (admin wise etc) post phone call

-AHT (average handling time) is in seconds within a time slot- the average number of seconds it takes to deal with the phone call

Primary Outcomes (explanation)
1) "After call work time" and 2) "Handling time" are measure already in use, 1) is the time between the end of a call and the when the operator is ready for a new call; 2) is the time between the start and the end of a call.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
This study will use a randomized trial to find out whether, in a real workplace, productivity is higher when workers hear background classical music. The control condition will be hearing no music. We will also collect data a week before and a week after the intervention. Music will be played at randomly assigned times during the day, for the entire period between 18th April and 1st of May. The working day is from 7am-11pm (16 hours). The music will be played throughout the day withing interval of 2 hours each. Each two hours-slot will be randomly selected ex-ante using Stata. The music will be selected by the expert of classic FM in a way to induce happiness and avoiding sadness. The identities of the employees will change through time, but the playing of the music will be orthogonal to those identities. Employees are not informed about the experiment
Experimental Design Details
The music will be selected by the expert of classic FM in a way to induce happiness and avoiding sadness. With Mode: Major, Tempo: preferably fast, sometime slow (never medium) Pitch: Medium or High; Rhythm : preferably Uneven, but sometime flowing or firm; Harmony : Cons, but sometime Diss; Loudness: Preferably Medium, but sometime soft or Loud
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office, ex-ante by a computer
Randomization Unit
Slot of two hours during the working day (from 7am-11pm everyday for approximately 2 weeks) when the music will be played and when the music is not played.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
112 time slots of two hours each.
Sample size: planned number of observations
100 subjects in an unbalanced panel of 112 time slot.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
112 slots, about half are control slot. With 100 employees in total. The identities of the employees will change through time, but the playing of the music will be orthogonal to those identities.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal

This section is unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
No
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers