Shank and teammates probed listener responses to music after attributing its composition to either artificial intelligence or a human. The researchers report that “participants listened to excerpts of electronic and classical music and rated how much they liked the excerpts. . . . Participants . . . liked music less that they thought was composed by an AI.” These results can likely be applied more broadly.
Howlin, Stapleton, and Rooney studied how music can be used to reduce pain, collecting information from adults experiencing acute pain. They report that “Music is increasingly being recognised as an adjuvant treatment for pain management. Music can help to decrease the experience of both chronic and experimental pain. . . . in naturalistic settings, the present study examined the degree to which cognitive agency (i.e., perceived choice in music), music features (i.e., complexity), and individual levels of musical sophistication were related to perceived pain. . . .
Fukuie and colleagues probed how hearing particular sorts of music influences cognitive performance, and their findings may be complicated to apply in group settings, but not solo use ones. The investigators report that “Hearing a groove rhythm (GR), which creates the sensation of wanting to move to the music, can also create feelings of pleasure and arousal in people, and it may enhance cognitive performance, as does exercise, by stimulating the prefrontal cortex. Here, we examined the hypothesis that GR enhances executive function (EF). . . .
Birman and Ferguson increase our understanding of the cognitive effects of listening to music. They report that their study participants “were randomly assigned to four different groups: silence (no music), classical music, rock, and the final group could choose any genre they liked. The California Verbal Learning Test—Second Edition (CVLT-II) was administered to assess participant’s memory. Anxiety was also assessed before and after the memory test to see whether the music had any effect.
Santangelo and associates studied the effects of hearing music on decisions made. They determined that “music is frequently played while we are engaged in other activities that rely on decision-making (e.g., driving). . . . We analyzed response times and accuracy from more than 100-thousand decisions and mapped the effects of music onto decision-process components with a mechanistic model of decision-making. We found evidence . . . . [that] decisions—across domains—were faster but less accurate with music. . . .
New research verifies that sensory experiences vary by culture. For a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences n international research team led by Elizabeth Margulis and Devin McAuley “asked hundreds of people what stories they imagined when listening to instrumental music. . . . listeners in Michigan and Arkansas imagined very similar scenes, while listeners in China envisioned completely different stories. . . .
Svanas-Hoh, Sanchez, and Tsay evaluated how mood influences evaluations of music; their findings can likely be extended to other situations in which assessments are made. The team reports that “Across two studies, participants . . . listened to a recital (set) of six pieces and provided moment-to-moment evaluations of emotional intensity, as well as global REs [retrospective evaluations] of the pieces and the entire set. Trend was manipulated (between-subjects) by ordering pieces by increasing (Low-High) or decreasing (High- Low) emotional intensity.
Greenberg and colleagues probed links between personality and preferred music styles and it seems likely that their findings can be applied more generally. The team report that they “built on theory and research in personality, cultural, and music psychology to map the terrain of preferences for Western music using data from 356,649 people across six continents. . . . the patterns of correlations between personality traits and musical preferences were largely consistent across countries and assessment methods.
McDonald, Bockler, and Kanske studied how hearing different sorts of music influences our thinking about other people. They determined that “Music is a human universal and has the ability to evoke powerful, genuine emotions. But does music influence our capacity to understand and feel with others?
Chang and Kim studied how different sorts of background music in movies influences the thoughts of audience members.