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Wednesday, April 26 • 9:00am - 9:20am
Moody Blues: The Paradox Of Listening To Sad Music

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It’s not clear whether people do listen to sad music to increase their sad mood. Research has suggested that it can increase the psychological benefit of an improved mood. For many years amongst researchers the question of why people listen to sad music has always been striking. Research on this subject began with Aristotle. Listening to sad music presents a paradox since real life sadness causes depression, seclusion and withdrawal from the real world. Sadness in nostalgic context and experience does, however, present a feeling individuals actively seek and desire. People with high tendencies toward reflectiveness (the ability to self reflect) may find sad music to be a tool to process negative feelings. When in a negative mood, listeners seek music that matches their mood for mood regulatory purposes. Other listeners with strong tendencies of absorption (the capacity to become deeply task oriented), may be able to enjoy the emotional state of sad music without the sometimes accompanied sad experience. It is not, however, determined whether the goals for listening to sad music match the outcomes. In the research presented here, I intend to find out why people listen to sad music. I will begin by conducting research as to why people listen to this kind of music and the outcomes wish to receive by doing so. I will then discuss the ideas of aesthetics and how it relates to my research. I hypothesize that sad music produces an improved mood, which is then associated with experience and nostalgia. I hope to find that sad music improves ones mood rather than saddens it.


Wednesday April 26, 2017 9:00am - 9:20am PDT
012 Karpen Hall

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