Curiosity emerging from the perception of change in music

Omigie, Diana and Ricci, Jessica. 2022. Curiosity emerging from the perception of change in music. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 40(2), pp. 296-316. ISSN 0276-2374 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Music presents a useful opportunity to consider the factors contributing to the experience of curiosity in the context of dynamically changing stimuli. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the perception of change in music triggers curiosity as to how the heard music will unfold. Participants were presented with unfamiliar musical excerpts and asked to provide continuous ratings of their subjective experience of curiosity and calm, and their perception of change, as the music unfolded. As hypothesized, we found that for all musical pieces, the perceptual experience of change Granger-caused feelings of curiosity but not feelings of calm. Our results suggest music is a powerful tool with which to examine the factors contributing to curiosity induction. Accordingly, we outline ways in which extensions to the approach taken here may be useful: both in elucidating our information-seeking drive more generally, and in elucidating the manifestation of this drive during music listening.

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Identification Number (DOI):


curiosity, information seeking, music, change perception, continuous ratings, Granger causality

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17 October 2021Accepted
16 December 2021Published Online
July 2022Published

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Date Deposited:

13 Dec 2021 11:39

Last Modified:

05 May 2022 10:54

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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