Perception of, subjective feeling and physiological responses to emotion in music according to affective state

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Fitzgerald, Claire
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BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The ability of music to induce emotion is a disputed phenomenon. The aim of this study is to examine the perception of, subjective feeling, and physiological arousal to the emotion expressed in music. Ninety participants listened to an audio clip of unfamiliar instrumental music while heart rate and skin conductance were recorded. Participants were randomly assigned to three music conditions: happy, sad and neutral. The PANAS questionnaire was completed prior to exposure to the music stimulus to establish general affective state. Following the excerpt, participants completed the Geneva Emotional Music Scale, a selfreport measure of the subjective feeling of musically induced emotions. A report of the perception of the emotionality of the music was included in the demographic questionnaire. A significant difference was indicated between the perception of the emotion expressed in the music, the subjective feeling and physiological responses; demonstrating recognition of emotion is greater than is musically induced. Author keywords: music, music psychology, emotion in music, mood, affective state, physiological reponses, subjective feeling, perception