Emotional Reactions to Music: Prevalence and Contributing Factors
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
People value music mainly for its abilities to induce emotions. Yet little is known about these experiences. The aim of this thesis was thus to investigate the nature and prevalence of emotional reactions to music, and what factors in the listener, the music, and the situation might contribute to such reactions.
Study I explored the prevalence of musical emotions and possible factors influencing such experiences through the use of a questionnaire sent out to a random and nationally representative sample. The results indicated that a majority of the responders frequently reacted emotionally to music, and that their reactions included both basic and complex emotions. Prevalence correlated with personality, gender, age, and music education.
Study II was designed to obtain a representative sample of situations where music induced emotions in listeners. The results showed that emotional reactions to music occurred in 24% of all episodes, and that the prevalence of specific emotions varied depending on the situation (e.g., other people present). However, causal inferences could not be drawn from Study I and II, so it was considered important to test predictions in a more controlled setting.
Study III showed in an experiment that listeners experienced more intense emotions (a) to self-chosen music than to randomly selected music and (b) when listening with a close friend or partner than when listening alone. Moreover, Openness to experience correlated with emotion intensity. All three factors were linked to positive emotions.
Overall, the thesis shows that (a) musical emotions are relatively common, (b) music can induce a variety of emotions, and (c) there are several features in the listener, the music, and the situation that may influence emotional reactions to music.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2011. , 53 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 67
music, emotion, personality, survey, experience sampling method, experiment
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-151605ISBN: 978-91-554-8081-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-151605DiVA: diva2:410669
2011-06-01, Sydney Alrutz-salen, 13:026, Blåsenhus, von Kraemers allé 1A, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Toiviainen, Petri, professor
Juslin, Patrik N, professor
List of papers