My PhD

I studied for my PhD at Keele University, supervised by Dr Alexandra Lamont and Professor Michael Murray, graduating in 2015. The crux of my research was to find out whether music can boost exercise adherence. There's lots in the literature about music's motivating effect on exercise stamina and enjoyment, and its capacity to reduce exercisers' rate of perceived exertion. However, many people struggle to engage with exercise in the first place. It's been suggested that music can help adherence - this appears in a conceptual framework published back in 1999* although it was included speculatively. At the moment, there's very little to support it, but adherence is a major issue for many people. 

 books & mortarboard

How did I go about this?

I used mixed methods in my MSc, combining interviews collecting qualitative data with a field-based quantitative study. In this area of research, where a lot is still unknown, combining methods is a useful technique: for example, interviewing people prior to designing an experiment can help make sure 'real life' exercising is strongly reflected.

I took a mixed methods approach for the PhD too - the studies are listed on the right.


Content and findings

The finished thesis consisted of the following studies:
  • Study 1, a survey into music use during exercise
  • Study 2, a qualitative study using IPA, interviewing some of the participants in Study 1
  • Study 3, a study of individual differences, media use and exercise frequency
  • Study 4, a longitudinal intervention study

There are some significant findings suggesting that music can help adherence in some circumstances. You can access the thesis online here.

Study 1 is published here:

Study 4 is published here:


*Karageorghis, C., Terry, P. & Lane, A. (1999) Development and initial validation of an instrument to assess the motivational quality of music in exercise and sport: The Brunel Music Rating Inventory. Journal of Sports Sciences, 17, 713-724.