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Emotional reactions to music in a nationally representative sample of Swedish adults: Prevalence and causal influences
Uppsala University.
Stockholm University.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Orebro University Hospital.
2011 (English)In: Musicae scientiae, ISSN 1029-8649, Vol. 15, no 2, 174-207 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Empirical studies have indicated that listeners value music primarily for its ability to arouse emotions. Yet little is known about which emotions listeners normally experience when listening to music, or about the causes of these emotions. The goal of this study was therefore to explore the prevalence of emotional reactions to music in everyday life and how this is influenced by various factors in the listener, the music, and the situation. A self-administered mail questionnaire was sent to a random and nationally representative sample of 1.500 Swedish citizens between the ages of 18 and 65, and 762 participants (51%) responded to the questionnaire. Thirty-two items explored both musical emotions in general (semantic estimates) and the most recent emotion episode featuring music for each participant (episodic estimates). The results revealed several variables (e.g., personality, age. gender, listener activity) that were correlated with particular emotions. A multiple discriminant analysis indicated that three of the most common emotion categories in a set of musical episodes (i.e., happiness, sadness, nostalgia) could be predicted with a mean accuracy of 70% correct based on data obtained from the questionnaire. The results may inform theorizing about musical emotions and guide the selection of causal variables for manipulation in future experiments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE Publications (UK and US) , 2011. Vol. 15, no 2, 174-207 p.
Keyword [en]
gender, music and emotion, music in everyday life, personality, questionnaire
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-70348DOI: 10.1177/1029864911401169ISI: 000293303600004OAI: diva2:438324
Available from: 2011-09-02 Created: 2011-09-02 Last updated: 2011-09-02

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Västfjäll, Daniel
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Department of Behavioural Sciences and LearningFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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