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From Sound to Significance: Exploring the Mechanisms Underlying Emotional Reactions to Music.
Am J Psychol. 2015 Fall; 128(3):281-304.AJ

Abstract

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.

Authors

No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26442337

Citation

Juslin, Patrik N., et al. "From Sound to Significance: Exploring the Mechanisms Underlying Emotional Reactions to Music." The American Journal of Psychology, vol. 128, no. 3, 2015, pp. 281-304.
Juslin PN, Barradas G, Eerola T. From Sound to Significance: Exploring the Mechanisms Underlying Emotional Reactions to Music. Am J Psychol. 2015;128(3):281-304.
Juslin, P. N., Barradas, G., & Eerola, T. (2015). From Sound to Significance: Exploring the Mechanisms Underlying Emotional Reactions to Music. The American Journal of Psychology, 128(3), 281-304.
Juslin PN, Barradas G, Eerola T. From Sound to Significance: Exploring the Mechanisms Underlying Emotional Reactions to Music. Am J Psychol. 2015;128(3):281-304. PubMed PMID: 26442337.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - From Sound to Significance: Exploring the Mechanisms Underlying Emotional Reactions to Music. AU - Juslin,Patrik N, AU - Barradas,Gonçalo, AU - Eerola,Tuomas, PY - 2015/10/8/entrez PY - 2015/10/8/pubmed PY - 2015/12/15/medline SP - 281 EP - 304 JF - The American journal of psychology JO - Am J Psychol VL - 128 IS - 3 N2 - 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. SN - 0002-9556 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26442337/From_Sound_to_Significance:_Exploring_the_Mechanisms_Underlying_Emotional_Reactions_to_Music_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -