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Which Emotions Can be Induced by Music? What Are the Underlying Mechanisms? And How Can We Measure Them?

Published in Journal of New Music Research. 2004, vol. 33, no. 3, p. 239-251
Abstract The study of emotional effects of music is handicapped by a lack of appropriate research paradigms and methods, due to a dearth of conceptual-theoretical analyses of the process underlying emotion production via music. It is shown that none of the three major assessment methods for emotion induction – lists of basic emotions, valence-arousal dimensions, and eclectic emotion inventories – is well suited to the task. By focusing on a small number of evolutionarily continuous basic emotions one downplays the more complex forms of emotional processes in humans, especially affective feeling states produced by music which do not serve adaptive behavioral functions. Similarly, a description of emotional effects of music limited to valence and arousal gradations precludes assessment of the kind of qualitative differentiation required by the study of the subtle emotional effects of music. Finally, eclectic lists of emotions generated by researchers to suit the needs of a particular study may lack validity and reliability and render a comparison of research results difficult. A second problem consists in the tendency to assume that “emotions” and “feelings” are synonyms. It is suggested that “feelings” can be profitably conceptualized as a central component of emotion, which integrates all other components and serves as the basis for the conscious representation of emotional processes and for affect regulation. It is proposed that a radical paradigm change is required to free research on the emotional effects of music from the excessive constraints imposed by these two common misconceptions. Concretely, it is suggested that affect produced by music should be studied as (more or less conscious) feelings that integrate cognitive and physiological effects, which may be accounted for by widely different production rules. Suggestions for new ways of measuring affective states induced by music are made.
Keywords Emotions inducedMusic
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Article (Published version) (226 Kb) - public document Free access
Research group Affective sciences
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SCHERER, Klaus R. Which Emotions Can be Induced by Music? What Are the Underlying Mechanisms? And How Can We Measure Them?. In: Journal of New Music Research, 2004, vol. 33, n° 3, p. 239-251. doi: 10.1080/0929821042000317822 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:101543

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Deposited on : 2018-01-22

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