The effects of reading song lyrics on prosocial and aggressive behaviour, and on homophobic attitudes

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Kimmel, Benjamin
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The study investigated the effects of reading prosocial and aggressive song lyrics on prosocial behaviour, aggressive behaviour and homophobic attitudes, and explored how song lyrics are believed to affect behaviours and attitudes. As part of an experiment, 103 participants completed an online survey that included the presentation of either prosocial, aggressive, or neutral song lyrics, scales to measure altruism, aggression and homophobia, and a research question about the perceived impact of lyrics on behaviours and attitudes. The results showed that prosocial and aggressive lyrics had no significant effect on prosocial behaviour, aggressive behaviour and homophobic attitudes, and that gender did not significantly affect homophobic attitudes. Moreover, the participants reported that music lyrics affect their behaviours, attitudes and emotions, have a personal impact on them, or have no effect. The findings suggest that reading lyrics has a lower impact on behaviour and attitudes than listening to lyrics.