Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

Spring 4-18-2013

School

College of Arts and Sciences

Major

Psychology: Clinical/Experimental

Primary Subject Area

Psychology, Experimental

Keywords

spirituality, emotional responses to music, music, emotion, religion, correlation

Disciplines

Other Psychology | Quantitative Psychology

Abstract

A study was conducted with 251 undergraduate psychology students at a Christian university to determine the nature of the relationship between spirituality and music-based emotions. Two hypotheses were proposed: First, students with higher levels of spirituality would experience higher emotional intensity while listening to music. Second, students will experience equal emotional intensity when listening to the “sacred” or “secular” selections. In answer to the first hypothesis, results indicated that overall intensity in emotional response to musical selections did significantly and positively correlate with higher spirituality scores. In answer to the second hypothesis, the strength of emotional intensity did differ, and intensity was found to be significantly higher for the secular musical selections. Implications of these results are explored.

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