Monday, September 26, 2016

Summary of Findings: Binaural Beats (2.5 out of 5 Stars)

Note: This post represents the synthesis of the thoughts, procedures and experiences of others as represented in the articles read in advance (see previous posts) and the discussion among the students and instructor during the Advanced Analytic Techniques class at Mercyhurst University in September 2016 regarding Binaural Beats as an Analytic Technique specifically. This technique was evaluated based on its overall validity, simplicity, flexibility and its ability to effectively use on structured data.

Description:

Binaural Beats is an analytic modifier made from special frequency pairs. These two different frequencies are played through opposite ears. Then, the brain takes the two frequencies and forms a third frequency resulting as the final perceived beat felt by the user. These frequencies are at different hertz and are alleged to stimulate different brain waves for different cognitive purposes.

Strengths:

  • Can be used as a kind of ‘prescription’ for controlling concentration / stress level
  • Potentially improves working memory capacity
  • Easy to access and affordable/free to use
  • Experiment process can be replicated
  • Flexible - can be used with a wide variety of data, both structured and unstructured
  • Simple to perform

Weaknesses:

  • Dependent on each individual’s mindset and stress level
  • Test results are difficult to replicate
  • Validity is questionable particularly for forecasting ability
  • Requires a control group to test validity
  • Large N groups required to produce reliable data

How-To:

  1. Obtain headphones
  2. Download one of many free binaural beat apps available
  3. Listen to desired settings to achieve desired outcomes (lower Hertz (Hz) for relaxation and meditation / higher Hz for concentration and problem solving)
  4. Listen to sound waves with headphones at desired volume for at least 15-20 minutes

Application of Technique:

To test this modifier a group of students created a test requiring perception, concentration, and spatial awareness. Subjects were divided into three groups; one group listening to a beta binaural frequency, one group listening to a delta binaural frequency, and one group listening to nothing (control group).

The subjects of the study as they listened to the beats were simultaneously able to work through a variety of problems in 30-second intervals. They started with four ‘Where’s Waldo’ maps then shifted to three spatial problem solving logic exams. Finally, the teams answered a conclusion survey designed to understand their feelings towards the test. Answers were shared and overall conclusions were drawn.

Results were inconclusive. Subjects reported inconsistent results within test groups. Larger sample studies are necessary for further analysis.

For Further Information:

Binaural Beats Wikipedia:

Brainwave Entrainment:

Personal Benefits of Binaural Beats:

Beta Binaural Beats Sound Sample:

Delta Binaural Beats Sound Sample:

Binaural Beats Free Digital Downloads:
http://free-binaural-beats.com

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