Music and Stress (06-01-21)

Peck and teammates found that listening to music may not help people feel less stressed in the sorts of situations that are often encountered in daily life, for example, while at work. The researchers report that “Music listening [has been] shown to promote faster physiological recovery following acute stress. . . .  It was hypothesized that listening to music prior to acute stress exposure would decrease stress reactivity compared with white noise (WN), and that self-selected music would serve as a stronger inoculator than researcher-selected music. Participants . . . were randomly assigned to either researcher-selected music . . . self-selected music . . . or a WN group . . . and listened to either music or WN prior to undergoing the Trier Social Stress Test, a standardized psychosocial stress protocol. Outcome indices of stress included skin conductance, heart rate, salivary cortisol, and self-report affect. Analyses failed to show a significant inoculation effect of music on the stress response.”

Katlyn Peck, Julia de Zepetnek, and Alexandra Fiocco.  2021. “Music Listening Does Not Inoculate the Stress Response in Young and Older Adults.”  International Journal of Stress Management, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 154-164, https://doi.org/10.1037/str0000217