uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
From sound to significance: Exploring the mechanisms underlying emotional reactions to music
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.
2015 (English)In: American Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0002-9556, E-ISSN 1939-8298, Vol. 128, no 3, 281-304 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A common approach to studying emotional reactions to music is to attempt to obtain direct links between musical surface features such as tempo and a listener's responses. However, such an analysis ultimately fails to explain why emotions are aroused in the listener. In this article we explore an alternative approach, which aims to account for musical emotions in terms of a set of psychological mechanisms that are activated by different types of information in a musical event. This approach was tested in 4 experiments that manipulated 4 mechanisms (brain stem reflex, contagion, episodic memory, musical expectancy) by selecting existing musical pieces that featured information relevant for each mechanism. The excerpts were played to 60 listeners, who were asked to rate their felt emotions on 15 scales. Skin conductance levels and facial expressions were measured, and listeners reported subjective impressions of relevance to specific mechanisms. Results indicated that the target mechanism conditions evoked emotions largely as predicted by a multimechanism framework and that mostly similar effects occurred across the experiments that included different pieces of music. We conclude that a satisfactory account of musical emotions requires consideration of how musical features and responses are mediated by a range of underlying mechanisms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 128, no 3, 281-304 p.
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-261219ISI: 000359014200001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-261219DiVA: diva2:852169
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2015-09-08 Created: 2015-08-31 Last updated: 2017-12-04
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

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Authority records BETA

Juslin, Patrik NBarradas, Goncalo

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Juslin, Patrik NBarradas, Goncalo
By organisation
Department of Psychology
In the same journal
American Journal of Psychology
Psychology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

urn-nbn

Altmetric score

urn-nbn
Total: 373 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf