Many studies in the field of positive media psychology have investigated the effects of meaningful film on viewer’s feelings and openness to others, all the while music is the number #1 media source for feeling moved, touched or inspired. Therefore, the current study examined the role of meaningful compared to pleasurable music on listeners emotional experiences, feelings of connectedness, and altruistic behaviors. In a pre-posttest experiment, 105 participants (Mage = 23.800; SD = 6.082; 77.3% female) listened to either their favorite meaningful music or their favorite pleasurable music. Findings revealed that listening to meaningful music leads to stronger feelings of being moved, having a lump in one’s throat and tears crying, more contemplation, a stronger motivation to seek what matters in life, and a stronger desire to express love to close others, compared to listening to pleasurable music. Both listening to meaningful and pleasurable music were found to lead to a wide range of intense and blended emotions, a desire to connect to others, and same levels of altruism. In sum, meaningful and pleasurable music can evoke a different mix of emotions, however, both are strong and open our hearts to others.
de Leeuw, R. N. H., Janicke-Bowles, S. H., & Ji, Q. (2021). How music awakens the heart: An experimental study on music, emotions, and connectedness. Mass Communication and Society. https://doi.org/10.1080/15205436.2021.1956542
Taylor & Francis
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