Journal article

Intense emotional responses to music: A test of the physiological arousal hypothesis

NS Rickard

Psychology of Music | Published : 2004


A consistent theme across general theories of emotion is that intense emotions are accompanied by increased levels of physiological arousal. The aim in the current study was to determine whether music which elicited intense emotions produced higher levels of physiological arousal than less emotionally powerful music. Twenty-one participants (9 females, 12 males) were exposed to relaxing music, arousing (but not emotionally powerful) music, an emotionally powerful film scene, and a music piece selected by participants as 'emotionally powerful'. A range of physiological and subjective measures of arousal was recorded before and during the treatments. The emotionally powerful music treatment el..

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