of music (classical, heavy

of music (classical, heavy metal, or self-selected) versus no music, and time, on emotional states

Effects of Peaceful Music on Anger Jessica D. Student Post University (No abstract necessary) Effects of Peaceful Music on Anger Introduction Literature review: Labb, Schmidt, Babin, & Pharr (2007) wanted to expand upon our understanding of the psychophysiological effects of different types of music in young adults. They studied the effect of music (classical, heavy metal, or self-selected) versus no music, and time, on emotional states and physiological arousal using 56 college students (15 men and 41 women; mean age = 22). For their dependant variables, they used the Relaxation Rating Scale to determine the level of relaxation and the STAXI-2 to measure anger. It was hypothesized that students who listened to classical or self-selected relaxing music would demonstrate significantly greater reductions in anger and sympathetic nervous system arousal, as well as increases in relaxation, when compared to those who sat in silence or who listened to heavy metal music. The results of this quantitative study showed that students in all conditions reported reductions in anger, but listening to self-selected types of music had the greatest reductions of anger and the lowest anger scores. In addition, relaxation increased in all groups except for the heavy metal group. Although this study supported its hypothesis, it is possible that the data might have been different had it been done on a more diverse sample than college students. Future studies may do better using all different ages in their sample. This study is relevant to the current research paper because it supports the idea that music, especially self-selected music, is an effective tool for reducing anger. (Do this for two more studies. In your fourth paragraph, discuss their similarities and differences). The above three studies demonstrate the impact that music has on emotions. Specifically, music has been shown to influence anger. Therefore, the hypothesis of this study is that peaceful music will lead to less anger when compared to listening to no music. Method Participants A sample of 60 adults (30 male, 30 female; ages 20 40, mean = 30; 60% Caucasian, 20% African American, 10% Hispanic, 5% Asian, 5% Other) took part in this study. They were gathered from various states on the southeast coast. Design The current study uses an experimental, between-subject, non-blind, and quantitative design. The independent variable was the type of music (peaceful and none), and the dependent variable was anger. Measures and Materials In this study, peaceful music is operationalized through Bizets Intermezzo from the Opera Carmen. Anger is operationalized through a self-report, pencil-and-paper anger survey, the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory -2 (STAXI-2). Procedure Participants met separately with the experimenter in the same quiet room. They sat at a desk in a cushioned chair with the room at a comfortable temperature. The Informed Consent Form was signed first. Next, participants were asked to think of an anger episode until they reported that they were at least moderately angry. Participants were then asked to fill out the STAXI-2 to get a baseline anger level. After filling out the measure, participants listened to the peaceful music (or no music, depending on the condition to which they were randomly assigned), and filled out the STAXI-2 once more. They were then thanked and debriefed. Results A t-test was used to assess possible differences in anger level between two conditions (Peaceful Music and No Music). Results found that the two groups were significantly different in terms of how much anger they produced (df = 58; t = -13.84, p < .001). Discussion In conclusion, the hypothesis for this mini-study was supported: Those who listened to peaceful music had lower anger levels than those who listened to no music. The implications of these findings are that music may have an impact on our emotions that might be helpful therapeutically. For example, if we are having difficulty forgiving someone, maybe listening to peaceful music will help. These findings parallel the findings of previous research, which also found that music can influence and reduce emotions (Labb et al., 2007). However, the current study differs from previous studies in that we only reduced anger in it, as opposed to also increasing other emotions, such as relaxation. The current mini-study has a few limitations: First, the sample only used 60 participants, when ideally it would used many more. Also, the sample consisted only of people from the east coast. Seeing that the sample could have been more diverse to include the mid and western states, the results may have been skewed. Second, peaceful music was represented by only one song; it is possible that the effects would not have been found for other types of peaceful music. This may be especially true for music with lyrics, since the music used in this study was non-lyrical. It would be helpful for future studies to examine the effects of peaceful music with different types of lyrics on anger. It would also be helpful to see if peaceful music not only reduces anger, but aggression. If that is the case, it would be especially helpful to see if peaceful music could help reduce aggression in prisons. Overall, the current study sought to seek the effect of music on anger. We found that peaceful music can decrease anger, and with these findings the door is even more open to find many more potential therapeutic musical interventions. References Labb, E., Schmidt, N., Babin, J., & Pharr, M. (2007). Coping with stress: The effectiveness of different types of music. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 32, 163-168

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