Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hazardous headbanging!

I remember when I was a pupil (a long time ago) a teacher tried to stop us headbanging. At the time we thought he was daft but perhaps he was right after all. I heard a report on the radio this morning that said: Head-banging causes banging headache. A report published in the British Medical Journal (and summarised in Scientific American) gives some medical evidence on the dangers of headbanging.

I have only ever edited one Wikipedia page but, inspired by this research, I have now made my second edit. :-)

Perhaps I should stop listening to my Merry Axemas and Merry Axemas vol. 2 CDs - it's too close to Christmas to risk neck injury. What I really want to know though is, how do you get to do research like this? The researchers state:
"We attended several hard rock and heavy metal concerts to find the most common style of head banging executed by audience members. The bands performing at these concerts included Motörhead, Mötley Crüe, Skid Row, The Hell City Glamours, L.A. Guns, Ozzy Osbourne, Winger, Ratt, Whitesnake, and W.A.S.P."
It appears that someone paid them to do research which involved them going to rock concerts. I could do that! Surely someone at Learning and Teaching Scotland would be willing to pay me to investigate the effect of Metallica on mental maths. As a working hypothesis, I would suggest that the fast, rhythmic quality of their music will have a positive effect on their fans ability to complete simple mental maths questions. To fully test this however, I would need to attend a concert to see if the distractions of the light show and slightly off-rhythm responses of fellow fans interferes with the test group's ability to answer questions quickly and accurately.

And surely the Scottish Government with their Homecoming Scotland 2009 campaign would be willing to fund me while I investigate the effect of hearing the Glasgow born, and now internationally successful, Angus and Malcolm Young playing live with AC/DC at Hampden. For example, does it change the fans attitudes to the four capacities:
  • successful learners
  • confident individuals
  • responsible citizens
  • effective contributors
It seems clear to me that we need to capture the data at the height of the euphoria caused by the concert and then follow the test subjects up a week later to see if their attitudes are different while simply listening to the music on headphones.

What do you think? Will I be able to get research money that will pay me to go to concerts, or at least buy my tickets?


mimanifesto said...

Sounds like a perfect piece of educational research David - I'm sure Fiona Hyslop would be happy to make another few teachers surplus in order to divert the money to one of our NGO's to fund such a project....and I'd make a great research assistant for you. I live quite close to Hampden, own 'Back in Black' and lived in the same street (when younger)as a couple of Brian Johnston's dad's pals kids :-)


David said...

Glad it's not just me that sees the potential. I'd be very happy to have you as a research assistant. Does anyone else want to help us write the research proposal? :-)

Slightly convoluted claim to fame but I am suitably impressed.