The Power of Notes: The Psychological Impact of Music on Feelings of Spirituality

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2019-04-22

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Abstract

Although music has been used in spiritual contexts throughout history, not much is known about how the characteristics within music that elicit feelings associated with spirituality. This study was designed to shed light on this question through researching the effects of three psychological dimensions of music – intensity, valence, and depth – on feelings of spirituality in listeners. Additionally, the moderating effects of personal spirituality on the psychological effects of music were analyzed. One hundred and twelve participants listened to short clips of music that had been scaled with respect to their intensity, valence, and depth, and rated how they felt on 14 items. Results showed that each of the three dimensions was significantly associated with ratings associated with spirituality. Moreover, personal spirituality moderated the effects of music on ratings. These findings offer future directions through which to study music and spirituality.

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Zhang, Qiang (2019). The Power of Notes: The Psychological Impact of Music on Feelings of Spirituality. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18375.


Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.