Effects of prosocial lyrics and musical production elements on emotions, thoughts and behavior

Ruth, Nicolas and Schramm, Holger. 2020. Effects of prosocial lyrics and musical production elements on emotions, thoughts and behavior. Psychology of Music, ISSN 0305-7356 [Article] (In Press)

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Abstract or Description

Popular music with prosocial lyrics affects listeners’ thoughts, emotions and behavior, yet little is known about the role played by the actual music in this process. This study focused on the interaction between the prosocial lyrics and the musical production elements, examining whether certain versions of a song can enhance the effect of prosocial lyrics on thoughts, emotions and behavior. Based on the general learning model and the reciprocal-feedback model of music perception, a laboratory experiment (N = 136) was conducted to test how listeners are affected by music with prosocial or neutral lyrics and by an electronic or an unplugged version of the music. For this purpose, an original song was composed and produced, using the same melodies and harmonies with varied lyrics and instrumentation. In a pilot study (n = 36), a version with acoustic instrumentation was rated as the most emotional and fitting, whereas an electronic dance version was rated as the least emotional and fitting. There was a significant interaction effect between the lyrics and the musical production elements: Those listening to the unplugged version with prosocial lyrics showed the most empathetic emotions. Prosocial lyrics also had an effect on prosocial thoughts but not on behavior.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1177/0305735620902534

Keywords:

prosocial behaviour, popular music, lyrics, instrumentation, laboratory experiment

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology

Dates:

DateEvent
30 March 2020Published Online
15 November 2019Accepted

Item ID:

28614

Date Deposited:

01 Jun 2020 15:17

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2020 13:31

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/28614

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