USF St. Petersburg campus Master's Theses (Graduate)

First Advisor

Major Professor: Christina Salnaitis, Ph.D

Second Advisor

Mark Pezzo, Ph.D

Third Advisor

Max Owens, Ph.D


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available

March 26, 2018

Publication Date



When two tones of similar frequencies are presented in each ear, the brain responds by perceiving a third tone, known as a binaural beat. Binaural beat technology is marketed as a self-improvement tool to reduce stress, improve mood, increase cognition, deepen meditation, and alter states of consciousness. The purpose of this study is to explore the effects of binaural beats with delta and theta frequencies to determine if these changes can improve mood and creativity using a pre- and post-test experimental design. Participants completed the Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) to measure mood by identifying how closely they felt to certain words pertaining to positive affect and negative affect, respectfully. Participants also completed the Remotes Associates Test (RAT) to measure convergent creativity by generating a fourth word pertaining to three stimulus words. Participants were randomly assigned to listen to 20 minutes of binaural beats masked by rainforest sounds in the experimental group, or rainforest sounds without binaural beats in the control group. Researchers predicted that listening to delta and theta binaural beats would improve mood and creativity at posttest, whereas no influences would be observed for the control group. There was no effect of binaural beats on either positive or negative affect; for positive affect, both conditions declined in their responses at posttest. Similarly, both conditions declined in their responses for negative affect at posttest. RAT performances revealed no significant effects of binaural beats on convergent creativity.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Psychology College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida St. Petersburg

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