Is It Me Or The Music? Stress Reduction And The Role Of Regulation Strategies And Music

Is It Me Or The Music? Stress Reduction And The Role Of Regulation Strategies And Music

ABSTRACT: “Music is a common resource for the regulation of emotions, moods, and stress. This study aimed at determining the individual and relative impact on stress reduction of two of the main factors involved in musical affect regulation: regulation strategies and music itself. The current study took place in an experimental setting and followed a factorial within-subjects design. First, the participants (n = 34) filled in an online survey where they identified their self-perceived “adequate”/“inadequate” music examples for the purpose of reducing stress and self-perceived “adequate”/“inadequate” strategies for the same purpose. In the lab they went through a stress induction procedure and then were instructed to calm down. They did so by listening to their “adequate”/“inadequate” music and employing the “adequate”/“inadequate” strategy, depending on the experimental condition. The primary outcome measure was self-reported tension, complemented by self-reported energy and valence, skin conductance levels (SCL), startle blink amplitudes, and risk aversion. The results showed that both music and strategy had a strong significant effect on the self-reported tension. Additionally, music had strong significant effects on energy, valence, SCL, and risk aversion. Pairwise comparisons revealed that the condition “adequate strategy-adequate music” was consistently more beneficial for stress reduction than condition “inadequate strategy-inadequate music”. However, it did not outperform all the other conditions, nor did the “inadequate strategy-inadequate music” underperform all the others. Moreover, close inspection of the results showed a larger impact of music on the short-term outcomes of self-regulation in comparison to strategy. These findings suggest that successful affective regulation depends on the adequacy of the chosen strategies and music, but that music is more determinant for the affective outcomes in the short term. The results are discussed considering previous research and the implications for the understanding of musical affect regulation are explored.”

REVIEWER: Peter Gerlings

AUTHOR SUMMARY: Margarida Baltazar, Daniel Västfjäll, Erkin Asutay, Lina Koppel, Suvi Saarikallio

READ MORE: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/epub/10.1177/2059204319844161