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Emotional responses to music: Experience, expression, and physiology
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2009 (English)In: Psychology of Music, ISSN 0305-7356, E-ISSN 1741-3087, Vol. 37, no 1, 61-90 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A crucial issue in research on music and emotion is whether music evokes genuine emotional responses in listeners (the emotivist position) or whether listeners merely perceive emotions expressed in the music (the cognitivist position). To investigate this issue, we measured self-reported emotion, facial muscle activity, and autonomic activity in 32 participants while they listened to popular music composed with either a happy or a sad emotional expression. Results revealed a coherent manifestation in the experiential, expressive, and physiological components of the emotional response system, which supports the emotivist position. Happy music generated more zygomatic facial muscle activity, greater skin conductance, lower finger temperature, more happiness, and less sadness than sad music. The finding that the emotion induced in the listener was the same as the emotion expressed in the music is consistent with the notion that music may induce emotions through a process of emotional contagion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 37, no 1, 61-90 p.
Keyword [en]
Music, emotion, experience, facial expression, electromyography, autonomic activity, emotional contagion
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-11097DOI: 10.1177/0305735607086048ISI: 000267258300004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-11097DiVA: diva2:38865
Available from: 2008-01-24 Created: 2008-01-24 Last updated: 2016-04-27

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Juslin, Patrik N
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