Music and emotions across the world

What if all humans in the world need to feel the same emotions at the same time during the day?

Check this wonderful article, which has been suggested by professor Andrea Gaggioli, about musical preferences across the globe:

Global music streaming data reveal diurnal and seasonal patterns of affective preference

Abstract
People manage emotions to cope with life’s demands. Previous research has identified affective patterns using self-reports and text analysis, but these measures track the expression of affect, not affective preference for external stimuli such as music, which affects mood states and levels of emotional arousal. We analysed a dataset of 765 million online music plays streamed by 1 million individuals in 51 countries to measure diurnal and seasonal patterns of affective preference. Findings reveal similar diurnal patterns across cultures and demographic groups. Individuals listen to more relaxing music late at night and more energetic music during
normal business hours, including mid-afternoon when affective expression is lowest. However, there were differences in baselines: younger people listen to more intense music; compared with other regions, music played in Latin America
is more arousing, while music in Asia is more relaxing; and compared with other chronotypes, ‘night owls’ (people who are habitually active or wakeful at night) listen to less-intense music. Seasonal patterns vary with distance from the equator and between Northern and Southern hemispheres and are more strongly correlated with absolute day length than with changes in day length. Taken together with previous findings on affective expression in text, these results suggest that musical choice both shapes and reflects mood.

No matters if you are Indian, English, African, Italian or from Argentina….you would be inclined to choose to listen to energetic music during the morning and to more calm music while the night is approaching. However, there are differences between cultures, thus…

Music played in Latin America (M = 1.053) is relatively more intense, and music in Asia is more relaxed (M = 0.698) compared with Oceania (M = 0.807), Europe (M = 0.804) and North America (M = 0.830; P <0.001 for eight pairwise comparisons of Latin America with the four other regions and Asia with the four other regions“. (p.231)

More, it matters if you are a woman or man and if you are young…

As people get older, they listen to less-intense music (M = 1.162, 0.970, 0.841, 0.769 and 0.484, respectively, for the five age groups from 10–19 to over 50; P < 0.001 for all pairwise comparisons; see Supplementary Table 1 for additional statistical details)“. (p.231).

To sum up, it looks like that people have seasonal musical preferences, as depicted by the image below on weekly and monthly changes of music preferences. 

Immagine_1

 

How do we know that? Thanks to Internet!!!!

This study has been conducted in 51 countries on streamed music, thus, Internet has been the main source for data collection across the world.

Two elements strike me most: (i) These innovative methodology that allow research carrying out analyses on such a large amount of data (actually, data are becoming bigger and bigger 🙂 ); (ii) The other side of Internet: we have spent years and years wondering whether this could be considered as a bad or good technology and less time to understand what Internet could tell about us as humans, since We’ve created it.

Now, we are transferring our moods, our emotions on the Internet. Thus, the “www” could be cosidered as an “advanced mirror“of our emotional spectrum.

We have achieved this knowledge partially by social networks (give a look at emotional contagion studies on Facebokook), now we can “detect” people’ moods on a larger scale and with a more “direct” source, that is, self-selected music. Self selected music tells something about or inner preferences and it is very personal but it is also a socially acceptable way (we cannot damage anyone) to express even dramatic feelings or to help us regulate them in different moment oof our life.

Therefore, streamed music mirrors our feelings and our desired feelings.

I believe that we are connected more today than ever, and this should be studied also at a higher level than the emotional-mood one….what about discrete emotions?

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