Does Classical Music Relieve Math Anxiety? Role of Tempo on Price Computation Avoidance



Marketers often do not present prices in ways that permit easy comparisons or calculations. For many consumers, situations that involve numbers and computations lead to math anxiety. Results of three studies show that math-anxious consumers tend to avoid alternatives that require price computations. Interestingly, such consumers find relief from math anxiety when slow tempo classical music plays in the background. However, in the absence of background music or when the tempo of such music is fast, those with high math anxiety exhibited a heightened avoidance of choices requiring price computations.