New Study Suggests:
That Musicians Are Mostly Judged by How They Look...
"People consistently report that sound is the most important source of information in evaluating performance in music," Tsay said,
"However, the findings demonstrate that people actually depend primarily on visual information when making judgments about music performance."
Tsay's study put together a group of musical novices and experts and over a series of tests
asked them to predict the winners of several prestigious competitions. Participants were asked to predict the winner using either audio-only recordings, videos without audio, or videos without sound. The correct prediction rate for those watching without sound was higher than those watching with audio. For those listening to audio only, the prediction rate was significantly worse.
"Both experts and novices appear to be surprised by their own data, and experts in particular reported a severe lack of confidence in their judgment when they were assigned to the video-only recordings, not knowing that their approximations of the actual outcomes would be superior under such constrained conditions."