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January 2022

A Comparison of the Effects of Teacher and Peer Approval on Student's Liking for Various Styles of Music

Abstract: Fifty-eight grade subjects were randomly divided into two groups. Each group received a taped treatment involving excerpts from classical, country and rock music styles. The only difference between treatment tapes was the role model who gave approval or disapproval commentary on any given excerpt, i.e., where a peer gave approving comments on one tape, an adult did the other. This was done as an effort to control for any baseline "liking" differences for the various excerpts employed. Two peer and two adult models were employed and both sexes were represented in each model type. Subjects responded to the musical and verbal stimuli with like-dislike reactions noted on response sheets. Raw data were converted to "influence scores" for statistical analysis. Mean scores of peer influence and adult influence varied from what seemed to be a slight to moderate extent in all three categories, generally in favor of peer influence. Additionally, when division was made between male and female subjects, and mean scores in the three music style categories were compared according to adult and peer influence factors, the same condition was found. That is, scores seemed to differ to vaying extents among one another; however, female mean scores tended, overall, to be somewhat higher and particularly so in response to adult influence. Finally, the data were subjected to a two-way analysis of variance which revealed that role models were a significant variable, and that music type produced a statistically significant effect as well. Further, a significant interaction between the role model variable and the type of music variable was noted. By comparing all information, it was possible to conclude that while adult influence lagged behind peer influence in every style category, it did so most notably in the classical music realm. Country music mean influence scores were slightly greater than those for rock, while classical music influence scores lagged behind both of these by a notable margin. With respect to the significant interaction finding, it can be noted that while relative stability seemed to exist between the data for the rock and the country styles under both the peer and adult influences, adult influence in the classical style area was considerably weaker when compared to peer influence scores.

Note: teacher-approval, peer-approval.

Keyword(s): teacher, peer-group, elementary, children, adolescents, music-preference, music-style.


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