The Impact of Alarm Clocks Tone on Your Mood
Question: Does the first sound I hear when I wake up impact the mood I will be in for the rest of the day?
Hypothesis: If I set my morning alarm to a calming sound, then I will be in a better mood throughout the day.
Independent Variable: The sound used as the alarm tone. I will play different ones on different days, at random with no set rotation. It will switch between a calming instrumental and a loud horn blaring.
Dependent Variable: My mood throughout the day, the long-term impacts on it based on the alarm tone used.
I will test this using an experiment. By using this design I can manipulate the different alarm tone noises to measure how my mood fluctuates in reaction to it. One factor that can interfere with my results is any major emotional triggers throughout my day. If I am measuring the full day effect of starting it with a certain alarm I need to ensure that the day is relatively normal and does not consist of any insane highs or lows. I can ensure this by following a pretty general daily routine and avoiding any situations that could lead to intense emotional reactions. Shortening the time measured could also help gain more control, as generally people let go of certain emotions more as time goes on. To further examine the mood, I will examine factors such as irritability or lenience throughout the day. How easily bothered am I? How much do I let annoyances slide? Does this change based on the alarm tone?
When waking up to the calm tone, I started my day peacefully and it kept me more level-headed going into the day. When using the loud tone, I started by day being irritated and aggravated, which was easily carried on to the rest of the day. The more slow and serene the sound is, the more I feel like I can go at my own pace. The harshness of the loud noise pulling me out of consciousness first thing in the morning catches me off guard and makes me feel on edge. However, it didn't always set my mood for the whole day. There were also days I used the calm tone but went on to get annoyed by something later in the day. Vice-versa, on some days with the loud tone my mood went up as the day went on. While the effects of a whole day mood may vary, this experiment concluded that the immediate reaction to waking up is greatly impacted by the sound that causes it.
This experiment falls under the cognitive perspective for me. The sound I hear upon waking up triggers one of two responses. There's the calm one, which is a gentle alert to get up and start my day, letting me peacefully gain consciousness. With the loud one, it is an abrupt alert, not giving me enough time to process and making me angry. Based on which way I think first thing in the morning, it will affect the way I keep thinking that day and the way I behave as a result. However, if others were doing this experiment I can see the psychodynamic perspective playing a role in how our results could differ. For me, I always wake up to a relatively calm quiet household, and always did even in my childhood. Now, I enjoy quiet, serene alarm tones to start my day. A good friend of mine grew up in a house with 6 siblings, so her household was rarely calm and quiet. Her alarm tones are always the loud horns or blaring clock noises, and they still allow her to wake up in a calm and peaceful manner. While I grew up with more aversion to sudden loud noises, her upbringing made them normal to her.