Earworms

Feb 28, 2014

Have you ever had a song stuck in your head? Chances are you probably have. According to research by James Kellaris, 98% of individuals get music stuck in their heads. Makes you crazy, right? The term for the phenomenon is earworm from the German word Ohrwurm.

Women and men experience the earworms equally often. Sorry ladies – they tend to last longer for women and irritate them more. Kellaris came up with statistics suggesting that songs with lyrics may account for 73.7% of earworms, while instrumental music only accounts 7.7% of earworms. As annoying as an earworm is – keep in mind it could always be worse. Palinacousis is a brain disorder that causes repetitive auditory hallucinations, including bits of music and song lyrics.

Don’t lose hope, scientists at Western Washington University found that engaging your memory in moderately difficult tasks like reading a novel or Sudoku puzzles, is an effective way of stopping earworms.

Tell us in the comments, what song is the worst earworm for you?

 

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