Effects of song lyrics on behavior - scientific research..

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Effects of song lyrics on behavior - scientific research..

Postby Chocolate Soldier » Sat Nov 28, 2009 3:51 pm

Peer-reviewed white papers...


http://psp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/35/11/1500

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

Effects of Songs With Prosocial Lyrics on Prosocial Behavior: Further Evidence and a Mediating Mechanism
Tobias Greitemeyer

University of Sussex,

Previous research has shown that exposure to prosocial songs increased the accessibility of prosocial thoughts, led to more interpersonal empathy, and fostered helping behavior. However, inasmuch as cognition, affect, and behavior were measured in different studies, it remained unclear what variable constituted the mediating path from media exposure to action. This was tested in the present research. In four studies, listening to songs with prosocial, relative to neutral, lyrics increased helping behavior. This effect was mediated by interpersonal empathy. The results are consistent with the general learning model and point to the importance of the affective route in explaining how media exposure influences social behavior.


This version was published on November 1, 2009

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 35, No. 11, 1500-1511 (2009)
DOI: 10.1177/0146167209341648

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http://psp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/32/9/1165

Music and Aggression: The Impact of Sexual-Aggressive Song Lyrics on Aggression-Related Thoughts, Emotions, and Behavior Toward the Same and the Opposite Sex
Peter Fischer

Tobias Greitemeyer

Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich

Three studies examined the impact of sexual-aggressive song lyrics on aggressive thoughts, emotions, and behavior toward the same and the opposite sex. In Study 1, the authors directly manipulated whether male or female participants listened to misogynous or neutral song lyrics and measured actual aggressive behavior. Male participants who were exposed to misogynous song lyrics administered more hot chili sauce to a female than to a male confederate. Study 2 shed some light on the underlying psychological processes: Male participants who heard misogynous song lyrics recalled more negative attributes of women and reported more feelings of vengeance than when they heard neutral song lyrics. In addition, men-hating song lyrics had a similar effect on aggression-related responses of female participants toward men. Finally, Study 3 replicated the findings of the previous two studies with an alternative measure of aggressive behavior as well as a more subtle measure of aggressive cognitions. The results are discussed in the framework of the General Aggression Model.


Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 32, No. 9, 1165-1176 (2006)
DOI: 10.1177/0146167206288670

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Full study here: http://www.apa.org/journals/releases/psp845960.pdf

VIOLENT MUSIC LYRICS INCREASE AGGRESSIVE THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS, ACCORDING TO NEW STUDY

Even Humorous Violent Songs Increase Hostile Feelings

WASHINGTON - Songs with violent lyrics increase aggression related thoughts and emotions and this effect is directly related to the violence in the lyrics, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association (APA). The findings, appearing in the May issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, contradicts popular notions of positive catharsis or venting effects of listening to angry, violent music on violent thoughts and feelings.

In a series of five experiments involving over 500 college students, researchers from Iowa State University and the Texas Department of Human Services examined the effects of seven violent songs by seven artists and eight nonviolent songs by seven artists. The students listened to the songs and were given various psychological tasks to measure aggressive thoughts and feelings. One such task involved participants classifying words that can have both aggressive and nonaggressive meanings, such as rock and stick.

To control for factors not related to the content of the lyrics, the violent and nonviolent songs were sung by the same artists and were in the same musical style in three of the experiments. In the two other experiments, the researchers tested the arousal properties of the songs to make sure the violent-lyric effects were not due to differences in arousal. Also, individual personality differences related to hostility were assessed and controlled. The study also included songs with humorous lyrics to see how humor interacted with violent song lyrics and aggressive thoughts.

Results of the five experiments show that violent songs led to more aggressive interpretations of ambiguously aggressive words, increased the relative speed with which people read aggressive vs. nonaggressive words, and increased the proportion of word fragments (such as h_t) that were filled in to make aggressive words (such as hit). The violent songs increased feelings of hostility without provocation or threat, according to the authors, and this effect was not the result of differences in musical style, specific performing artist or arousal properties of the songs. Even the humorous violent songs increased aggressive thoughts.

The violent-song increases in aggressive thoughts and feelings have implications for real world violence, according to lead researcher Craig A. Anderson, Ph.D. of Iowa State University. "Aggressive thoughts can influence perceptions of ongoing social interactions, coloring them with an aggressive tint. Such aggression-biased interpretations can, in turn, instigate a more aggressive response -verbal or physical - than would have been emitted in a nonbiased state, thus provoking an aggressive escalatory spiral of antisocial exchanges," said Dr. Anderson.

The study investigated precursors to aggression rather than aggressive behavior itself. More research is needed, say the authors, to identify the short-term and long-term effects of violent song lyrics. Repeated exposure to violent lyrics may contribute to the development of an aggressive personality and could indirectly create a more hostile social environment, although the authors say it is possible that the effects of violent songs may last only a fairly short time.

"One major conclusion from this and other research on violent entertainment media is that content matters," said Dr. Anderson. "This message is important for all consumers, but especially for parents of children and adolescents."

Article: "Exposure to Violent Media: The Effects of Songs With Violent Lyrics on Aggressive Thoughts and Feelings," Craig A. Anderson and Nicholas L. Carnagey, Iowa State University and Janie Eubanks, Texas Department of Human Services; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 84, No. 5.

Full text of the article is available from the APA Public Affairs Office or at http://www.apa.org/journals/releases/psp845960.pdf

Lead author Craig Anderson, Ph.D., can be reached at (515) 294-0283 or by Email.

The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 150,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students.
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Postby Sis. Ali » Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:25 pm

Interesting post Choco.

To me though this is researching the obvious.
Of course the music/films/words you absorb affect you and your thoughts, feelings, mood and actions.

It is a simple fact of us as human ie. emotional, and not fully spiritual beings.
Doesn't need a western scientist to prove.. :)

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Postby Varese » Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:51 pm

Thought I'd best point out there is a world of difference between small studies & something worthy of more than a cursory glance. Interesting studies they may be, but there's a lot more going on than you would think. I can't find the study (quite large) but someone looked at music with no lyrics and foreign lyrics, which yielded similar increases in reported aggression.

More interesting for me are the links between rhythm, harmony and personality changes. I've always been fascinated by the ability of hi-pass filter sweeps to lift the spirits, and the effects of a burbling 303 line on the brain definitely merit more examination, if anyone fancies giving me a grant.

I'll try and find that study when I'm not on my phone..
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Postby Chocolate Soldier » Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:27 pm

True Sis Ali - though, there are some out there for whom, if it does not exist in a peer-reviewed journal - it does not exist at all!
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Postby Chocolate Soldier » Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:37 pm

Varese wrote:Thought I'd best point out there is a world of difference between small studies & something worthy of more than a cursory glance. Interesting studies they may be, but there's a lot more going on than you would think. I can't find the study (quite large) but someone looked at music with no lyrics and foreign lyrics, which yielded similar increases in reported aggression.

More interesting for me are the links between rhythm, harmony and personality changes. I've always been fascinated by the ability of hi-pass filter sweeps to lift the spirits, and the effects of a burbling 303 line on the brain definitely merit more examination, if anyone fancies giving me a grant.

I'll try and find that study when I'm not on my phone..


A study on tones, frequencies, styles etc & how they effect people would be quite interesting...

On another note let us examine the CV of the lead author of the 'Violent Music Lyrics Increase Aggressive Thoughts & Feelings' paper - Stanford Phd, Uni. Psychology Dept Head & 2cnd most cited scholar in Social Psychology textbooks (2006):

Professor Craig A. Anderson

http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/faculty/caa/Bio.html

Not exactly a crank! :)
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Postby Varese » Sat Nov 28, 2009 8:22 pm

I wasn't denying the academic weight of any of the authors,
merely pointing out the difference between a small study done for whatever reason (get funding for larger research, normally!) and something worth investing much faith in!

And yes, with things like this I prefer to trust peer reviewed science than my own or other peoples opinion. The scientific method developed for good reasons, y'know!
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Postby Varese » Sat Nov 28, 2009 8:48 pm

To raise this discussion to something slightly more interesting, have you noticed how you seem to completely bak up Foucault, Chocco? The whole madness/morality thing, how the "medical" and "moral" ideas surrounding mental and moral deviance are completely caught up with each other?

He thought madness was a culturally indicated moral position, something you seem to wholeheartedly subscribe to. Me, I'm not so sold on the ability of science or psychology (not a science in my opinion, any more than criminology, despite both clothing themselves in the garments of scientific method) to identify mental or moral deviance. Or to successfully identify a causal relationship between entertainment and the above. If you think about it for a minute instead of going or your gut instinct you'll probably see where I'm coming from...

If you want to identify causes of antisocial behaviour, I'd look at the roles of parents, schools and community first before being bothered by lyrics.
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Postby vital ital » Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:52 pm

To translate all this, if you listen to tons of Reggae your craving for smoking weed will be greater.

v.i.
Bashment girl nah come cheap.
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Postby giab » Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:44 am

& growing up listening to the Dead Kennedy's did in fact make me go out & kill the poor, & children, & in some cases even poor children :)
Everything in moderation, especially moderation
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Postby KingSimeonSound » Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:03 am

Yep. If someone will finance me i can come up with all sorts of obvious stuff. Trouble is it is more for the cheaper papers and foder for politicians... and maybe get me on a few daytime chat shows... maybe take me abroad and onto books/publishing. All the while i'll s8incerely talk about caring so much about kids and what is going on. Total b*$%*@ks.

The academic field, like just about every other, is all about chasing the money. I'll say it again, this study is not likely to get far, just like all the others. The subject is far more complex and to take this kind of study so seriously is making the whole subject a bit of a joke!

There are much better things to read and spend your time investing thought on. But.... Each to there own. Enjoy, but dont expect anything to come from it.
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Postby Chocolate Soldier » Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:30 am

You lot are pretty funny - this subject has come up before around here whereupon the bell ringers were declared cranks with no academic credentials so it was all a load of bollocks - now here is a raft of scientific research results in peer-reviewed journals by persons with massively high impeccable academic credentials coming to the same conclusions & the reaction is: 'Ah, rubbish, poppycock!..marginal small-scale research by manipulative figures in order to secure funding & talk show appearances'...Lol guys! :D

Fwiw - no one is saying any previously normal person from a stable background is going to go off and machine-gun people after listening to 'Nah Apologize'..
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Postby KingSimeonSound » Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:47 am

:lol: The subject and concern is a serious one, i dont think anyone of us is denying that.

But at least we got a laugh out of you... thats all i'm getting form these reports. I shall try to be less cynical... but these studies have been turning up for a while, and have little impact to the overall subject... Putting it crudely, these studies are rubbished at A-level studies.

It is impossible to determine any 'controlled' scientific study on the subject, which is why it is such a ripe area for writing on; as it is such an emotive subject. If we are to take it seriously, these studies tell us more about how WE view the subject and youth culture.
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Postby Varese » Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:14 am

Chocco;

I'm just saying that while studies like this might be interesting and even get the authors funding, YOU are ignoring the main reason for your claimed rise in violence/sociopathy/deviance.

You've just written that nobody from a stable background is going to machine gun somebody after listening to Nah Apologise. Why would you say that if you think there is a link between entertainment and deviancy?

I would actually disagree with you again, suprisingly. I would argue that someone from a stable background yadayada might machine gun someone after listening to Nah Apologise. I'm arguing that that it doesn't indicate a causal relationship.

If you want to know why people are so coldhearted, look to the big reasons; poverty, alienation, upbringing, education. And do something about them.

Stop getting sidetracked by interesting but largely irrelevent issues like song lyrics!

On a side note, why your fascination with this? Why not the poverty gap? The education gap?
Last edited by Varese on Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Chocolate Soldier » Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:16 am

Suit yourself guys :)

Me - I'm more apt to pay attention to opinions and conclusions which are backed up by valid science on the subject from academic heavyweights possessing stunning and impeccable credentials!

People like this guy:

Professor Craig A. Anderson
Stanford Phd, Uni. Psychology Dept Head & 2cnd most cited scholar in Social Psychology textbooks (2006):
http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/faculty/caa/Bio.html

or

Brad J. Bushman, Ph.D.
http://sitemaker.umich.edu/brad.bushman ... ulum_vitae
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Postby KingSimeonSound » Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:34 pm

That is a very sheep instinct choco, i gave you more credit than that. Seriously... these studies are pooh poohed at A-level standard in the UK. Just because people have good credentials, doesn't alone mean they are onto something. Like religion, you are investing in this, gratified by having a hold on a 'sense' to it and the crazy world.

If this study and all the studies on representation-link to violence, that have come up from many a well credited academic/departments, makes advancements i shall be happy to eat my hat, and all the hats you can find. That is how sure i am this is all nonsense, nonsense that is more akin to a religion... like a lot of theory, this is only valid when you start to invest in it... otherwise, as Varese says, it is just interesting to read. This is also where his insite to Foucault is far more valuable than anything this prof says.

If you want to invest in it, feel free. As long as you are informed and continue to be open about the subject we're all just discussing our interests. I guess the governments are more interested in Terror at the moment to hype up these new studies... we shall wait and see. I imagine the papers are due to spend a few articles on it soon, they are prone to every now and then. They continue to sell their papers/advertising, everything flows along easily, but absolutely nothing is gained from the actual studies and very little improves for communities and schools. Go figure on that... again, this is the history of the subject so far, hence my un-interest at the new study/man on the block. This is nothing new.
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