We’ve all been there: you turn on your favorite song and within minutes you feel like you’ve been on a magical journey. The music carries you away and, suddenly, the outside world fades into the depths of your reverie. But then something unexpected happens: when you get in the car, your senses suddenly seem to heighten. With every bump or stop sign, this sweet, singsong melody fades away to give way to the bustle of everyday life that follows the predetermined path with us by its side. So what’s really going on here? Why do we tend to turn off our favorite soundtrack when we hit the pavement? In this blog post, we’ll explore why this happens so often, and hopefully provide some answers to an old question!

How to explain this strange attitude?

From a psychological point of view.

This strange behavior of lowering the sound of the radio when we lose our destination or our park can be explained as an unconscious response to increased stress and anxiety. Our body has a built-in alarm system that goes off when we’re in danger, and this often manifests itself in physical responses like raising our voice, or instinctive behaviors like turning off the radio. This is because sound, especially music, stimulates certain areas of our brain associated with pleasure and relaxation. When we sense danger or are anxious, it is natural for us to turn off the source of pleasure in order to focus on the situation at hand.

Additionally, this behavior may be related to a phenomenon known as “safety signals”. These are signals that alert us to potential dangers; they remind us that something is wrong or potentially dangerous. Lowering the volume of the radio could act as an auditory warning signal; by reducing the sound, we are able to more easily focus on our surroundings and identify any potential threats. In this way, we are better able to protect ourselves against danger.

From an evolutionary perspective, these responses may have been beneficial for ensuring survival in times of danger; by mitigating their surroundings, humans would have had a better chance of escaping predators or hostile environments. So even though current situations don’t call for such drastic measures, our brains instinctively respond in the same way, prompting us to turn off the radio when faced with stressful circumstances.

From a scientific point of view.

Our behavior of turning the radio down when we lose our destination or park can be explained by a phenomenon known as “cognitive dissonance.” Cognitive dissonance is a feeling of discomfort that arises when our mind holds two conflicting beliefs. In this case, cognitive dissonance can occur as we find ourselves in a situation that is not what we had expected. By turning off the radio, we effectively remove a source of distraction, allowing us to calm down and focus on the task at hand: finding our destination or parking safely.

Cognitive dissonance is closely related to the concept of “flow”. Flow is a mental state in which a person performing an activity is totally immersed in it, and experiences clarity and loss of self-awareness. When the flow is disturbed by external factors such as loud music, it can lead to feelings of disorientation and confusion. Therefore, reducing noise levels, for example by turning off the radio, can help restore clarity and focus on the task at hand.

In addition, cognitive dissonance can also result from feeling uncertain about one’s abilities or surroundings. This phenomenon has been linked to overactivity in the amygdala – an area of ​​the brain responsible for processing emotions – which can lead to increased levels of anxiety in response to uncertain situations. By reducing noise levels, for example by changing the volume of the radio, one gives the feeling of being in control of one’s environment, which helps to reduce anxiety and restore concentration.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.