Background Sollberger, Reber, and Eckstein (2003), using an affective priming paradigm, have demonstrated that the affective tone of musical chords influences the evaluation of target words. Affective tone was manipulated using consonant and dissonant chords, and target words were pleasant or unpleasant. The results showed that negative targets were evaluated significantly faster if preceded by a dissonant rather than a consonant chord. Aims The paradigm of affective priming was applied to verify if: (a) major and minor chords presented in high and low register can significantly influence reaction times and response accuracy in a wordevaluation task with happy and sad words as targets; (b) major and minor chords presented in high and low register can significantly influence reaction times and accuracy in a picture-evaluation task with happy and sad pictures as targets; (c) consonant and dissonant chords presented in high and low register can significantly influence reaction times and accuracy in a picture-evaluation task with pleasant and unpleasant pictures as targets. Method The three hypotheses were tested in three different studies. The first one involved 70 participants, the second one 27, and the third one 29. Participants were university students without professional music training. Major and minor chords were major and minor C triads. Dissonant chords were composed by D-G#-D’. Register was manipulated presenting chords at two octave distance. Prime chords were presented for 800 ms, followed by 200 ms by the target stimulus, whose offset was determined by the subject’s response. Pictures were selected from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS). Results In the word-evaluation task, a happy word was classified significantly faster and more accurately if it was preceded by a major chord, or a high register chord, whereas reaction times were significantly slower if it was preceded by a low register chord. Happy words and pictures were classified faster than sad words and pictures. In the picture-evaluation task happy and pleasant pictures were evaluated faster if the prime was a high register chord; sad and unpleasant pictures were evaluated faster if the prime was a low register chord (congruent pairs). In incongruent pairs reaction times were significantly slower. In the picture-evaluation task mode and consonance of prime chords did not influence reaction times, whereas register did. Conclusion The affective content of musical chords, as results from their mode, consonance, and register significantly influence cognitive non-musical tasks such a picture- or word-evaluation task. This means that affective properties of musical stimuli are shared with ongoing mental processes. These results can contribute to explain the Mozart’s effect, i.e. the influence of musical stimuli to concomitant cognitive tasks. Mode, consonance, and register are not equally effective in influencing the evaluation task. As regard to mode major chords were more effective than minor chords (also Mozart’s effect is found for major excerpts and not for minor ones). Register was more effective than mode. Since the picture-evaluation task implies more bottom-up processes than the word-evaluation task, it was less influenced by the affective content of priming chords. Key words: Affective priming, Emotion, Mode, register, consonance

Effects of mode, consonance, and register in a picture-, and word-evaluation affective priming task

COSTA, MARCO;RICCI BITTI, PIO ENRICO
2006

Abstract

Background Sollberger, Reber, and Eckstein (2003), using an affective priming paradigm, have demonstrated that the affective tone of musical chords influences the evaluation of target words. Affective tone was manipulated using consonant and dissonant chords, and target words were pleasant or unpleasant. The results showed that negative targets were evaluated significantly faster if preceded by a dissonant rather than a consonant chord. Aims The paradigm of affective priming was applied to verify if: (a) major and minor chords presented in high and low register can significantly influence reaction times and response accuracy in a wordevaluation task with happy and sad words as targets; (b) major and minor chords presented in high and low register can significantly influence reaction times and accuracy in a picture-evaluation task with happy and sad pictures as targets; (c) consonant and dissonant chords presented in high and low register can significantly influence reaction times and accuracy in a picture-evaluation task with pleasant and unpleasant pictures as targets. Method The three hypotheses were tested in three different studies. The first one involved 70 participants, the second one 27, and the third one 29. Participants were university students without professional music training. Major and minor chords were major and minor C triads. Dissonant chords were composed by D-G#-D’. Register was manipulated presenting chords at two octave distance. Prime chords were presented for 800 ms, followed by 200 ms by the target stimulus, whose offset was determined by the subject’s response. Pictures were selected from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS). Results In the word-evaluation task, a happy word was classified significantly faster and more accurately if it was preceded by a major chord, or a high register chord, whereas reaction times were significantly slower if it was preceded by a low register chord. Happy words and pictures were classified faster than sad words and pictures. In the picture-evaluation task happy and pleasant pictures were evaluated faster if the prime was a high register chord; sad and unpleasant pictures were evaluated faster if the prime was a low register chord (congruent pairs). In incongruent pairs reaction times were significantly slower. In the picture-evaluation task mode and consonance of prime chords did not influence reaction times, whereas register did. Conclusion The affective content of musical chords, as results from their mode, consonance, and register significantly influence cognitive non-musical tasks such a picture- or word-evaluation task. This means that affective properties of musical stimuli are shared with ongoing mental processes. These results can contribute to explain the Mozart’s effect, i.e. the influence of musical stimuli to concomitant cognitive tasks. Mode, consonance, and register are not equally effective in influencing the evaluation task. As regard to mode major chords were more effective than minor chords (also Mozart’s effect is found for major excerpts and not for minor ones). Register was more effective than mode. Since the picture-evaluation task implies more bottom-up processes than the word-evaluation task, it was less influenced by the affective content of priming chords. Key words: Affective priming, Emotion, Mode, register, consonance
Abstracts of the 9th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition
220
221
M. Costa; D. Campana; P.E. Ricci Bitti
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/43909
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