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AN EXPLORATION OF MOOD-REGULATION: HOW SADNESS AND EVENT RESOLUTION IMPACT MUSIC PREFERENCES

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Author(s)
Tahlier, Michelle E.
Advisor(s)
Miron, Anca; Rauscher, Frances; Lishner, David
Degree
MS, Psychology Experimental
Date
Jun 2010
Subject(s)
Mood (Psychology); Music psychological effect; Music effect of; Music influence of
Abstract
A recent study by Tahlier, Miron and Rauscher (2010) found that participants dealing with unresolved sad events wanted to listen to happy and upbeat music versus participants dealing with resolved events. Thus, individuals experiencing unresolved events may have been more motivated to change their sadness by choosing happy and upbeat music. We directly tested the hypothesis that individuals in the unresolved condition are more motivated to get energized in order to cope with the unresolved event. There were four experimental conditions. Participants in the first group were asked to write about resolved sad events. Participants in the other three groups were asked to write about unresolved events. We employed a "mood-freeze" manipulation, in which some participants in the unresolved conditions were asked to taste food and were led to believe that they could not alter their current mood because of the food (mood freeze/unresolved condition). Participants in the mood malleable/unresolved condition tasted the food but did not receive information about their ability to change their mood. Finally, participants in the no mood information/unresolved condition only rated the food and did not receive information about their ability to change the mood. The results of this study revealed, as predicted, that individuals in the unresolved/no information and unresolved/mood malleable conditions wanted to listen to happy and happier music than individuals in the resolved and mood freeze/unresolved conditions. The results suggest that individuals utilize music by preferring happy and happier music when they perceive the ability to successfully regulate their unresolved sadness.
Description
A Thesis Submitted In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science in Psychology Experimental
Permanent link
http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1793/47136 
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