Music and Moods: Research Verifies the Obvious

October 21, 2020

It has been proven that music can have positive or negative psychological impacts on people. Following this train of research, Business Line reports that playlists are a better reflection of mood than once thought, “Your Playlist Mirrors Your Mood, Confirms IIIT-Hyderabad Study.”

The newest study on music and its effect on mood titled “Tag2risk: Harnessing Social Music Tags For Characterizing Depression Risk, Cover Over 500 Individuals” comes from the International Institute of Information Technology in Hyderabad (IIIT-H). The study discovered that people who listen to sad music can be thrown into depression. Vinoo Alluri and her students from IIIT-H’s cognitive science department investigated if they could identify music listeners with depressive tendencies from their music listening habits.

Over five hundred people’s music listening histories were studied. The researchers discovered that repeatedly listening to sad music was used as an avoidance tool and a coping mechanism. These practices, however, also kept people in depressive moods. Music listeners in the study were also drawn to music sub genres tagged with “sadness” and tenderness.

We noted:

“ ‘While it can be cathartic sometimes, repeatedly being in such states may be an indicator of potential underlying mental illness and this is reflected in their choice and usage of music,’ Vinoo Alluri points out. She feels that music listening habits can be changed. But, in order to do that, they need to be identified first by uncovering their listening habits. It is possible to break the pattern of “ruminative and repetitive music usage”, which will lead to a more positive outcome.”

Alluri’s study is an amazing investigation into the power and importance of music. Her research, however, only ratifies what music listeners and teenagers have known for decades.

Whitney Grace, October 21, 2020


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