Two articles from the July 2013 issue of Psychology of Music

The July 2013 issue of Psychology of Music is available online (although it’s behind a paywall in most databases).  I summarized the abstracts of a couple of the more interesting-sounding articles below, but you can check out the full table of contents by clicking here.  

  • Exploring a rationale for choosing to listen to sad music when feeling sad Psychology of Music July 2013 41: 440-465, first published on December 21, 2011 doi:10.1177/0305735611430433  This article asks why people choose to listen to sad music “after experiencing negative psychological circumstances.”  They studied “65 adults across five countries”  and conclude that “these findings present core insights into the dynamics and value of choosing to listen to self-identified sad music when coping with negative psychological circumstances.” I’m curious first about how they determined what constituted “sad music” and secondly how they determined that people choose to listen to sad music when they’re sad, but we’ll have to wait for the details until the paper emerges from behind the paywall.
  • Enhancing genre-based measures of music preference by user-defined liking and social tags Psychology of Music July 2013 41: 499-518, first published on May 22, 2012 doi:10.1177/0305735612440611  From the abstract:  “Musical preferences are typically determined by asking participants to indicate their favourite musical genres. These genre-based measures have some considerable pitfalls, since specific pieces of music in a genre might be liked more than the genre itself, and finding consensus to define a genre is often a challenging task. The aims of the present study were to (1) assess how effective genre-based measures are at identifying musical preferences, by comparing them to free responses; (2) demonstrate how the fit can be improved between the genre-based measures and sampled population; and (3) suggest and evaluate methods that use lists of liked and disliked artists to define musical preferences.”  They used two surveys which revealed “that for 29% of the individuals, the genre-based measures did not successfully account for their musical preferences” and they came up “the Artist-based Musical Preferences (AMP) as a more ecologically valid instrument to assess musical preferences.”


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