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Prevalence of emotions, mechanisms, and motives in music listening: A comparison of individualist and collectivist cultures
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Number of Authors: 5
2016 (English)In: Psychomusicology, ISSN 0275-3987, E-ISSN 2162-1535Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-310598OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-310598DiVA: diva2:1057228
Available from: 2016-12-16 Created: 2016-12-16 Last updated: 2017-10-13
In thesis
1. A Cross-Cultural Approach to Psychological Mechanisms Underlying Emotional Reactions to Music
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Cross-Cultural Approach to Psychological Mechanisms Underlying Emotional Reactions to Music
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Music plays a crucial role in everyday life by enabling listeners to seek individual emotional experiences. To explain why such emotions occur, we must understand the underlying process that mediates between surface-level features of the music and aroused emotions. This thesis aimed to investigate how musical emotions are mediated by psychological mechanisms from a cross-cultural perspective.

Study I manipulated four mechanisms by selecting ecologically valid pieces of music that featured information relevant for each mechanism. The results suggested that listeners’ emotions could be successfully predicted based on theoretically based manipulations of target mechanisms. However, Study I featured only listeners from a single culture, neglecting the possible role of contextual and individual factors.

Study II investigated the prevalence of emotions, mechanisms, and listening motives in a web survey featuring listeners from both individualist and collectivist countries. Results indicated that patterns of prevalence of emotions and mechanisms were quite similar across cultures. Still, Study II found that certain emotions such as nostalgia and the mechanism episodic memory were more frequent in collectivist cultures. In contrast, sadness and the mechanism musical expectancy were more frequent in individualist cultures. Study II also suggested that listening motives were country-specific, rather than subject to the individualism-collectivism dimension.

Study III explored how particular mechanisms are manifested within a collectivist cultural setting with great potential for deeply felt emotions: fado music in Portugal. Interviews with listeners provided in-depth information on how the cultural context might shape listening motives and emotions. The results revealed that listeners strived for musical experiences that would arouse culturally valued emotions. Music-evoked nostalgia and contextual factors were regarded as important and contributed to an enhanced sense of wellbeing.

Study IV tested the influence of lyrics on the emotions induced by Swedish and Portuguese pieces of music. The results revealed cross-cultural differences in how lyrics influenced emotions. The differences were not related to the music’s origin, but to the listener’s origin, suggesting that the impact of lyrics depends on the cultural background of the listener.

In conclusion, the thesis suggests that cultural factors serve as moderators of effects of biologically based mechanisms for emotion induction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017. 87 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 137
Keyword
cross-cultural perspective, emotion, functions, music, mechanisms
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-314870 (URN)978-91-554-9818-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-03-31, Auditorium Minus, Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-03-10 Created: 2017-02-06 Last updated: 2017-03-20

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