Publication Date

Spring 4-18-2013


College of Arts and Sciences


Psychology: Clinical/Experimental

Primary Subject Area

Psychology, Experimental


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


Other Psychology | Quantitative Psychology


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.