Bangerter and Heath studied 500 US media reports between 1993 and 2002 to see how classical music became a must for children, and considered in which states the articles were published.
They found a correlation between unsatisfactory education systems and the number of reports published about the effect. Some states even heavily promoted the use of classical music in schools and day care centres, or handed out CDs to parents of babies.
“Laws were passed,” said Bangerter. “Since 1998, crèches in Florida have to play half an hour of classical music every day for the children.”
The psychologists also found that after 1997 children were mentioned more frequently in articles about the effect than the university students who were actually tested.
“When the original submission to Nature was published, journalists jumped on the story,” said Bangerter. “As time went by, articles no longer referred to the research and more and more errors crept progressively into reports that were being published on the effect.” —Psychologists debunk Mozart myth (Swiss Info)