Research determines catchiest song ever
Ever have a song stuck in your head because it’s so darn catchy? Well the catchiest song has finally been identified.
Researchers from the University of Amsterdam worked with the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Manchester, U.K., to create an experiment that identifies the catchiest song ever.
What song won? The 90’s pop hit “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls.
The experiment analyzed the catchiest fragments of music to find why they are so memorable. To determine this, researchers developed a game: Hooked On Music. Instead of a typical “name-that-tune” type of game, the participant was asked to hit the stop button as soon as they recognized the song.
Researchers then tested whether the songs kept playing inside participants’ heads by asking them to sing along in their minds during a break in the music, and seeing if they picked up again in the same spot when the music started playing again.
The experiment used top 40 songs from the 1940s to the present day. “Wannabe” was recognized after an average of 2.29 seconds by the 12,000 participants.
According to MOSI, the experiment is intended to help with future research on memory diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
The research identified the top ten catchy songs as follows: