Emotion and image : the important role music plays in the lives of Irish adolescents

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Authors
O'Sullivan, Ciara
Issue Date
2006
Degree
BA in Psychology
Publisher
Dublin Business School
Rights
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine whether adolescents listen to music due to satisfying emotional needs more than due to portraying an image. Previous research indicates that emotion and image are the two main reasons adolescents give for why they listen to their favourite style of music. The participants in this study consisted of 75 adolescents aged between 14 and 17 years (28 males and 47 females) that were randomly selected from a secondary school in North County Dublin. A modified version of a questionnaire designed by North, Hargreaves and O’Neill (2000) was employed. This study was a within subjects design. All participants rated statements of emotion and image with regards to their favourite style of music. Participants also rated statements of emotion and image with regards to why someone their age and gender listen to classical, rock and pop music. Results showed that satisfying emotional needs through music was rated significantly greater than portraying an image through music. Results also showed that the participants reported that someone their own age and gender may listen to classical and pop music in order to satisfy their emotional needs significantly more than to portray an image. However results showed that the participants reported that someone their own age and gender may listen to rock music in order to help portray an image to others significantly more than to satisfy emotional needs. These findings seem to suggest that adolescents use music to satisfy emotional needs more than to help them express an image. However certain musical styles are perceived by adolescents to help portray an image more than other styles of music.
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