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According to a new study by Kawakami et al. (2013), sad music is enjoyable because it creates an interesting mix of emotions; some negative, some positive. In their study, they found that: “…the sad music was perceived to be more tragic, whereas the actual experiences of the participants listening to the sad music induced them to feel more romantic, more blithe, and less tragic emotions than they actually perceived with respect to the same music.” (more…)

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The efficacy of musical emotions provoked by Mozart’s music for the reconciliation of cognitive dissonance

 A recent hypothesis suggested that a fundamental function of music has been to help mitigating cognitive dissonance, which is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting cognitions simultaneously. It usually leads to devaluation of conflicting knowledge…Results of our experiment reveal that the exposure to Mozart’s music exerted a strongly positive influence upon the performance of young children and served as basis by which they were enabled to reconcile the cognitive dissonance. (more…)

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ScienceDaily (June 12, 2012) — Ever wonder why Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” moved so many people in 1969 or why the music in the shower scene of “Psycho” still sends chills down your spine?

A UCLA-based team of researchers has isolated some of the ways in which distorted and jarring music is so evocative, and they believe that the mechanisms are closely related to distress calls in animals.

“Music that shares aural characteristics with the vocalizations of distressed animals captures human attention and is uniquely arousing,” (more…)

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 Much of the gathered evidence points towards:

  • an important degree of conventionalism,
  • in the sense of blockage or no-evolution,
  • in the creation and production of contemporary western popular music.

Thus, from a global perspective, popular music would have no clear trends and show no considerable changes in more than fifty years (more…)

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Scientists prove it’s the same old song – only louder  by Dario Borghino

If you suspect that songs today tend to sound the same, it turns out you’re right. A group of Spanish scientists looked at a huge database of songs and analyzed their trends, publishing their results in the scientific journal Nature. What they found was proof positive that, over the last few decades, songs have progressively gotten louder, decreased their pitch transitions, and generally become more homogeneous. (more…)

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What Makes a (Successful) Maverick? by Alex Fradera May 23, 2012

Who are the mavericks who take the path less travelled and bring organisations along in their wake? …(researchers) gathered data online from 458 full-time workers within a range of sectors, seeking to map a range of personal variables onto their measure of maverickism. This measure captured:

  • The tendency to behave in disruptive, bold, risk-taking ways to achieve goals
  • It was also constructed to capture only functional maverickism
  • On the basis that when these behaviours lead to failures rather than successes the instigator is labelled a misfit or deviant, not a maverick;

…a typical item was “I have a knack for getting things right when least expected.” (more…)

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We are completely addictied to any and all brain research and advanced social-physhological sciences.  It’s all about molecules in the brain babee!!   And the stuff is just fun to learn.  Here’s an example.  Very geeky, sure, but skim it – or not.

Conclusions

  • Sharing other individuals’ emotional states enables predictions of their behavior, and shared affective, sensory, and attentional representations may provide the key to understanding other minds
  • We argue that emotions enhance intersubject synchronization of brain activity and thus tune-in specific brain networks across individuals to support similar perception, experiencing, and prediction of the world
  • Our findings suggest that such synchronization of emotions across individuals provides an attentional and affective framework for interpreting others’ actions.

This hypothesis accords with the proposals that perceived emotional states in others are constantly mapped into corresponding somatic and sensory representations in the observers’ brain.Through this kind of mind-simulation:

  • we may estimate others’ goals and needs more accurately and tune our own behavior accordingly, thus supporting social interaction and coherence
  • We propose that high arousal serves to direct individuals’ attention similarly to features of the environment
  • whereas negative valence synchronizes brain circuitries, supporting emotional sensations across individuals.
  • Through these mechanisms emotions could promote social interaction by enhancing the synchrony between brain activity and behavior across different individuals.

(more…)

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