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October 2021

Resting arousal, sensation seeking, and music preference

Author(s): Ballard, M. E.

Journal/Book: Genet Soc Gen Psychol Monogr. 1999; 125: 1319 Eighteenth St NW, Washington, DC 20036-1802, USA. Heldref Publications. 229-250.

Abstract: The authors examined the relations among resting arousal, music preference, and sensation seeking behavior, hypothesizing that participants who preferred more arousing types of music would have lower resting arousal and higher scores on the Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS; M. Zuckerman, S. Eysenck, & H. J. Eysenck, 1978) and on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2, Scale 4 (MMPI-2 Pd; J. N. Butcher, W G. Dalhstrom, J. R. Graham, A. Tellegen, & B. Kaemmer, 1989) than participants who preferred more soothing types of music. Participants included 96 college student volunteers. Their resting heart rate and blood pressure were monitored, and they completed a questionnaire on music preferences, the SSS, and the MMPI-2 Pd. Because there were sex differences on several of the variables, correlations were calculated separately for men and women. Among men, the hypothesis that preference for arousing music is tied to behavior via resting arousal was supported. This preference was consistently negatively related to resting arousal and positively related to measures of sensation seeking and antisocial behavior. However, although women's preference for arousing music was related to sensation seeking in the expected direction, the opposite was true in terms of resting arousal, for which we found positive correlations between preference for arousing music and cardiovascular measures. Thus, there may be stronger links among music preference, resting arousal, and sensation seeking for men than for women.

Note: Article Ballard ME, Appalachian State Univ, Dept Psychol, Boone,NC 28608 USA

Keyword(s): HEAVY-METAL MUSIC; ROCK-MUSIC; CARDIOVASCULAR REACTIVITY; BLOOD-PRESSURE; ADOLESCENTS; RESPONSES; BEHAVIOR; GENDER; SEX; AGE


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