APR 18, 2017 7:08 PM PDT

Get that song out of my head!


Ever heard of an ear-worm? Also known as involuntary musical imagery, perpetual music track, or sticky song syndrome, most of us have at once point been plagued with this phenomenon. In fact, one study showed that 90% of people suffer from at least one ear-worm every week. Approximately a third of people get songs stuck every day! But why do songs get stuck in our heads, why do you sing the same verse over and over, and why is it so difficult to get a song unstuck?

Psychologists refer to the Zeigarnik effect to explain the reason why we often only get fragments of songs stuck in our heads. This effect describes how people tend to remember tasks that have been interrupted more than tasks that have been completed. Following this, if you only hear a part of a song, you may be more susceptible to rehearing that part for the rest of the day. Also following this logic, if you consciously complete the song, you may be able to unstick it from your head!

Of course, some songs get stuck in our heads more than others because of their repetitive nature, be it the words or melody. What can you do to get these catchy songs away from you? Watch the video to find out!
About the Author
BA Environmental Studies
Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
DEC 29, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Why is the Sun's Outer Atmosphere Hotter than its Surface?
DEC 29, 2020
Why is the Sun's Outer Atmosphere Hotter than its Surface?
The fact that the Sun's distant atmosphere is significantly hotter than its surface has been a topic of confusion in ...
JAN 05, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Could Earth's Microbes Help Us Find Extraterrestrial Life?
JAN 05, 2021
Could Earth's Microbes Help Us Find Extraterrestrial Life?
As scientists are learning more about microbes existing in the higher echelons of the Earth's atmosphere, they are b ...
JAN 08, 2021
Space & Astronomy
New Findings Suggest Dark Matter Doesn't Exist
JAN 08, 2021
New Findings Suggest Dark Matter Doesn't Exist
The existence of dark matter has been considered a 'given' for decades as a way to understand some of the less e ...
FEB 20, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
FEB 20, 2021
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
NASA scientists have confirmed that their car-sized Perseverance Mars rover is 'healthy' following its arrival o ...
MAR 26, 2021
Plants & Animals
A Massive 17-Year Cicada Swarm will Emerge Soon
MAR 26, 2021
A Massive 17-Year Cicada Swarm will Emerge Soon
The east coast is preparing for one of nature’s greatest spectacles. A gigantic swarm of periodical cicadas is due ...
JUL 08, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Giant Plumes on Saturn's Moon May Hold Signs of Life
JUL 08, 2021
Giant Plumes on Saturn's Moon May Hold Signs of Life
Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, has giant erupting plumes of water that, scientists say, can not be explained by known g ...
Loading Comments...