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THE EFFECT OF SONGS WITH VIOLENT LYRICS ON INTERPERSONAL AGGRESSION

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Author(s)
Heller, Grant M.
Advisor(s)
McFadden, Susan; Rauscher, Frances; Lishner, David
Degree
MS, Psychology - Plan of Study Experimental
Date
May 2009
Subject(s)
Interpersonal relations psychological aspects; Aggressiveness; Violence Psychological aspects; Violent crimes; Popular music United States
Abstract
The focus of this study was to investigate the relation between listening to music containing violent lyrics and interpersonal aggression. To examine this relation, participants wrote a brief essay and then received feedback from a second ostensible participant as part of a study on peer feedback and writing. Participants were assigned randomly to receive either positive or negative feedback from the other and were then provided an opportunity to evaluate an essay written by the other. Prior to receiving the feedback, participants were assigned randomly to listen to a song with either violent lyrics or non-violent lyrics. Consistent with previous research, those receiving provocative negative feedback reported more negative affect and evaluated the second participant?s essay more negatively than those who received positive feedback. However, despite finding a difference in perceived aggressive content between violent and non-violent songs, exposure to violent songs had no discernable effect on interpersonal aggression. The results provide mixed support for predictions made using the General Aggression Model (GAM).
Description
A Thesis Submitted In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science-Psychology Plan of Study Experimental
Permanent link
http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1793/46734 
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