JoVE Logo
Faculty Resource Center

Sign In





Representative Results






Driving Under the Influence: How Music Listening Affects Driving Behaviors

Published: March 27th, 2019



1Laboratoire d'Etude des Mécanismes Cognitifs (EA 3082), University Lyon 2, 2Institut Universitaire de France, 3Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé, Université de Sherbrooke

Here, we present a protocol to assess driving behaviors while following a vehicle in a simulated driving environment. The presented protocol is used to compare the impact of different auditory backgrounds on driving behaviors.

Car driving is a daily activity for many individuals in modern societies. Drivers often listen to music while driving. The method presented here investigates how listening to music influences driving behaviors. A driving simulation was selected because it offers both a well-controlled environment and a good level of ecological validity. Driving behaviors were assessed through a car-following task. In practice, participants were instructed to follow a lead vehicle as they would do in real life. The lead vehicle speed changed over time requiring constant speed adjustments for the participants. The inter-vehicular time was used to assess driving behaviors. To complement the driving behaviors, the subjective mood and physiological level of arousal were also collected. As such, the results collected using this method offer insights on both the human internal state (i.e., subjective mood and physiological arousal) and driving behaviors in the car following task.

Car driving activity has increased quickly over the last decades and is now a daily activity for many individuals in modern societies. In line with this growth, car-driving activity has become a hot topic of investigation for the human factor community1.

There is an extremely limited number of major cultural activities that typically define humankind regardless of the population and the period of history considered2. Music is one of these activities along with tool use and symbolic reasoning underpinning language abilities3. Playing and listening to music is therefore a....

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

All methods described here have been approved by the Ethics Committee of the Department of Psychology of University Lyon 2 and informed consent was obtained from all participants.

NOTE: Participants were recruited by means of notices posted in the local community and at the University.

1. Participants

  1. Ensure that participants have a driving license and at least two years of driving experience.
  2. Ensure that participants have normal or corrected t.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

The main comparisons are based on the following experimental conditions. The first experimental condition is No Music versus Music, a comparison between the No Music background and the individual preferred Music background using a pairwise t-test. These analyses were meant to assess the influence of listening to preferred music compared to a control condition without music. The second experimental condition is four different musical backgrounds, a comparison between No Music, Music, Music +10 and Music -10 corre.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

The proposed method is well suited for cognitive ergonomic investigations as it offers an excellent compromise between experimental control and ecological vailidity16. If a strong experimental control is required to ensure that the collected results are related to the experimental manipulations, no results are of interest if restricted to the experimental conditions. Indeed, scientific results are of interest if transferable to real life situations. These assertions do not mean that only real-life.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

This study was supported by the LABEX CORTEX (ANR-11-LABX-0042) of Université de Lyon, within the program ‘‘Investissements d’Avenir’’ (ANR-11-IDEX-0007) operated by the French National Research Agency (ANR).


Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

Name Company Catalog Number Comments
Audacity software Audacity Open source
Driving simulator Université de Sherbrooke BB sim
Polar watch with heart rate monitor Polar RC3
Speakers Yamaha MSP3
Steering wheel and pedals Logitech G27

  1. Lee, J. D. Fifty Years of Driving Safety Research. Human Factors. 50 (3), 521-528 (2008).
  2. Glacken, C. J. . Traces on the Rhodian shore: Nature and culture in Western thought from ancient times to the end of the eighteenth century. , (1973).
  3. Schäfer, T., Sedlmeier, P., Städtler, C., Huron, D. The psychological functions of music listening. Frontiers in Psychology. 4, (2013).
  4. Rentfrow, P. J., Gosling, S. D. The do re mi's of everyday life: the structure and personality correlates of music preferences. Journal of personality and social psychology. 84 (6), 1236 (2003).
  5. Dibben, N., Williamson, V. J. An exploratory survey of in-vehicle music listening. Psychology of Music. 35 (4), 571-589 (2007).
  6. Juslin, P. N., Laukka, P. Expression, Perception, and Induction of Musical Emotions: A Review and a Questionnaire Study of Everyday Listening. Journal of New Music Research. 33 (3), 217-238 (2004).
  7. Västfjäll, D. Emotion Induction through Music: A Review of the Musical Mood Induction Procedure. Musicae Scientiae. 5, 173-211 (2002).
  8. Mayer, J. D., Gaschke, Y. N., Braverman, D. L., Evans, T. W. Mood-Congruent Judgment Is a General Effect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 63 (1), 119-132 (1992).
  9. Lewis, P. A., Critchley, H. D., Smith, A. P., Dolan, R. J. Brain mechanisms for mood congruent memory facilitation. NeuroImage. 25 (4), 1214-1223 (2005).
  10. Blaney, P. H. Affect and memory: a review. Psychological bulletin. 99 (2), 229 (1986).
  11. Wiesenthal, D. L., Hennessy, D. A., Totten, B. The Influence of Music on Driver Stress1. Journal of applied social psychology. 30 (8), 1709-1719 (2000).
  12. van der Zwaag, M., Janssen, J. H., Nass, C., Westerink, J., Chowdhury, S., de Waard, D. Using music to change mood while driving. Ergonomics. 56 (10), 1504-1514 (2013).
  13. Jallais, C., Gabaude, C., Paire-Ficout, L. When emotions disturb the localization of road elements: Effects of anger and sadness. Transportation research part F: traffic psychology and behaviour. 23, 125-132 (2014).
  14. Pêcher, C., Lemercier, C., Cellier, J. Emotions drive attention: Effects on driver's behaviour. Safety Science. 47 (9), 1254-1259 (2009).
  15. Hoc, J. -. M. Towards ecological validity of research in cognitive ergonomics. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science. 2 (3), 278-288 (2001).
  16. Kaptein, N., Theeuwes, J., Van Der Horst, R. Driving simulator validity: Some considerations. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. (1550), 30-36 (1996).
  17. Filliard, N., Icart, E., Martinez, J. -. L., Gerin, S., Merienne, F., Kemeny, A. Software assembly and open standards for driving simulation. Proceedings of the Driving simulation conference Europe 2010. , 99-108 (2010).
  18. Dalton, B. H., Behm, D. G. Effects of noise and music on human and task performance: A systematic review. Occupational Ergonomics. 7, 143-152 (2007).
  19. Mayer, J. D., Gaschke, Y. N. Brief Mood Introspection Scale ( BMIS ). Psychology. 19 (3), 1995 (1995).
  20. Niedenthal, P. M., Dalle, N. Le mariage de mon meilleur ami: Emotional response categorization and naturally induced emotions. European Journal of Social Psychology. 31 (6), 737-742 (2001).
  21. Dalle, N., Niedenthal, P. M. La réorganisation de l'espace conceptuel au cours des états émotionnels. Annee Psychologique. 103 (4), 585-616 (2003).
  22. Navarro, J., Reynaud, E., Osiurak, F. Neuroergonomics of car driving: A critical meta-analysis of neuroimaging data on the human brain behind the wheel. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 95, 464-479 (2018).
  23. Ünal, A. B., de Waard, D., Epstude, K., Steg, L. Driving with music: Effects on arousal and performance. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. 21, 52-65 (2013).
  24. Navarro, J., Osiurak, F., Reynaud, E. Does the Tempo of Music Impact Human Behavior Behind the Wheel. Human Factors. 60 (4), 556-574 (2018).
  25. Brackstone, M., Mcdonald, M. Car-following a historical review. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. 2, 181-196 (2000).
  26. Chapman, P. R., Underwood, G. Visual search of driving situations: Danger and experience. Perception. 27 (8), 951-964 (1998).
  27. Russell, J. A. A Circumplex Model of Affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 39 (6), 1161-1178 (1980).
  28. Russell, J. A. Core affect and the psychological construction of emotion. Psychological review. 110 (1), 145-172 (2003).
  29. Posner, J., Russell, J. A., Peterson, B. S. The circumplex model of affect: an integrative approach to affective neuroscience, cognitive development, and psychopathology. Development and psychopathology. 17 (3), 715-734 (2005).
  30. Feldman Barrett, L., Russell, J. A. Independence and Bipolarity in the Structure of Current Affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 74 (4), 967-984 (1998).
  31. Caird, J. K., Johnston, K. A., Willness, C. R., Asbridge, M., Steel, P. A meta-analysis of the effects of texting on driving. Accident Analysis and Prevention. 71, 311-318 (2014).
  32. He, J., Becic, E. Mind Wandering Behind the Wheel: Performance and Oculomotor Correlates. Hum Factors. , (2009).
  33. Navarro, J., François, M., Mars, F. Obstacle avoidance under automated steering: Impact on driving and gaze behaviours. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. 43, 315-324 (2016).
  34. Navarro, J., Yousfi, E., Deniel, J., Jallais, C., Bueno, M., Fort, A. The impact of false warnings on partial and full lane departure warnings effectiveness and acceptance in car driving. Ergonomics. 59 (12), 1553-1564 (2016).
  35. Navarro, J., Deniel, J., Yousfi, E., Jallais, C., Bueno, M., Fort, A. Influence of lane departure warnings onset and reliability on car drivers' behaviors. Applied Ergonomics. 59, 123-131 (2017).
  36. Navarro, J. Human-machine interaction theories and lane departure warnings. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science. 18 (6), 519-547 (2017).

This article has been published

Video Coming Soon

JoVE Logo


Terms of Use





Copyright © 2024 MyJoVE Corporation. All rights reserved