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Is music a 'legal drug' for athletes?

Was this runner's iPod a performance enhancer? Tom Dulat/Getty Images

It is no secret that music commands a significant amount of psychological control over sports.

Six notes on an organ are all it takes to get thousands of fans to yell “charge.” A few bars from the right pump-up jam can energize an entire stadium and resuscitate a team’s mediocre performance.

But a new book called "Inside Sport Psychology" by Costas Karageorghis and Peter Terry claims that listening to the right music can boost an athlete’s performance by up to 15 percent, equating it with a legal performance-enhancing drug.

While elite athletes usually are categorized as associators, meaning they find motivation inwardly, the rest of us are more likely to classify as dissociators, which means some sort of external stimulus is often needed to help kick into high gear.

This should debunk any long-held myths about the "Chicken Dance" and its influence (or lack thereof) on one’s ability to acclimate to a rapidly accelerating cadence. You may have thought you were totally killin’ it at your cousin’s wedding last summer, but the "Chicken Dance" was killin’ it for you. You are nothing.