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Regulation of emotions by listening to music in emotional situations


Thoma, Mirjam; Ryf, Stefan; Ehlert, Ulrike; Nater, Urs M (2006). Regulation of emotions by listening to music in emotional situations. In: Baroni, M; Addessi, A R; Caterina, R; Costa, M. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Music Perception & Cognition. Bologna: University of Bologna, 1088-1093.

Abstract

Musical stimuli are among the most intensive stimuli trig- gering emotions. Therefore, we investigated in the present study whether subjects use music to regulate their emotions in everyday situations. We set out to examine whether dis- positional emotional regulation styles are determining the situation-dependent choice of music. In a pre-study (N = 72), 20 music stimuli and 16 emotionally laden situations (on the dimensions valence and arousal) were determined. In the main study, 89 subjects (aged 20-30 years, no pro- fessional musicians, no hearing problems, no mental dis- orders, no substance abuse) were presented the music stimuli via head phones. They were indicating on a com- puterized visual analogue scale how likely they would choose these music stimuli in given emotionally laden situations. In addition, all subjects were asked to fill out the ‚Inventory for Regulation of Emotion‘ (IERW, Mohi- yeddini, in prep.).
Analyses of our data by means of multidimensional scaling (MDS) show that specific music stimuli were preferred in emotionally congruent situations. This situation specificity could be explained by the two emotion dimensions valence and arousal. Furthermore, there were modulating influ- ences of dispositional emotion regulation styles on individ- ual music preference: e.g., the choice of positively evalu- ated music in situations characterized by negative valence, and high arousal is correlated with emotion moderating regulation style.
In this study, we were able to show that music is chosen in emotional situations in a very specific manner. What is more, we demonstrated that dispositional regulation styles might influence the choice of music pieces characterized by specific emotions. Our findings are among the first to elu- cidate the important role emotion regulation might play in the choice of music in everyday emotionally laden situations.

Abstract

Musical stimuli are among the most intensive stimuli trig- gering emotions. Therefore, we investigated in the present study whether subjects use music to regulate their emotions in everyday situations. We set out to examine whether dis- positional emotional regulation styles are determining the situation-dependent choice of music. In a pre-study (N = 72), 20 music stimuli and 16 emotionally laden situations (on the dimensions valence and arousal) were determined. In the main study, 89 subjects (aged 20-30 years, no pro- fessional musicians, no hearing problems, no mental dis- orders, no substance abuse) were presented the music stimuli via head phones. They were indicating on a com- puterized visual analogue scale how likely they would choose these music stimuli in given emotionally laden situations. In addition, all subjects were asked to fill out the ‚Inventory for Regulation of Emotion‘ (IERW, Mohi- yeddini, in prep.).
Analyses of our data by means of multidimensional scaling (MDS) show that specific music stimuli were preferred in emotionally congruent situations. This situation specificity could be explained by the two emotion dimensions valence and arousal. Furthermore, there were modulating influ- ences of dispositional emotion regulation styles on individ- ual music preference: e.g., the choice of positively evalu- ated music in situations characterized by negative valence, and high arousal is correlated with emotion moderating regulation style.
In this study, we were able to show that music is chosen in emotional situations in a very specific manner. What is more, we demonstrated that dispositional regulation styles might influence the choice of music pieces characterized by specific emotions. Our findings are among the first to elu- cidate the important role emotion regulation might play in the choice of music in everyday emotionally laden situations.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2006
Deposited On:17 Oct 2012 09:31
Last Modified:26 Jan 2017 08:52
Publisher:University of Bologna
ISBN:88-7395-155-4

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