Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Two studies explored the role of pleasant music in buffering the adverse effects of provocation. In the first study, 111 participants listened to aversive, pleasant, or no music before receiving a provocation and completing a measure of aggressive behavior. Participants exposed to pleasant music reported more positive mood. Those in the aversive music condition reported more negative mood than did those in the no-music control condition. The more positive the music-induced mood, the less anger was experienced and aggressive behavior was shown after provocation. In Study 2 (N = 142), listening to pleasant music reduced anger following provocation, compared to aversive music and a no-music control condition. Pleasant music also increased response latencies in recognizing aggressive words after provocation.
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