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'Love is in the air': Effects of songs with romantic lyrics on compliance with a courtship request

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Abstract

Previous research has shown that exposure to various media is correlated to variations in human behaviour. Exposure to aggressive song lyrics increases aggressive action whereas exposure to songs with prosocial lyrics is associated with prosocial behaviour. An experiment was carried out where 18-20-year-old single female participants were exposed to romantic lyrics or to neutral ones while waiting for the experiment to start. Five minutes later, the participant interacted with a young male confederate in a marketing survey. During a break, the male confederate asked the participant for her phone number. It was found that women previously exposed to romantic lyrics complied with the request: more readily than women exposed to the neutral ones. The theoretical implication of our results for the General Learning Model is discussed.
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... Future research should also compare exposure to songs (i.e., musical and verbal content combined) against purely musical content to understand interactions between verbal and musical content. Relevant verbal content might be explicitly tolerancepromoting messages, or more typical (but also humanizing) messages such as the love song we used (Guéguen et al., 2010). Such research would need to pay close attention to verbal communication factors that uniquely influence prejudice (e.g., accent-associated language attitudes; Dragojevic et al., 2017). ...
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... For instance, it has been claimed that prosocial lyrics can lead to prosocial behaviour [30,31,32], although that finding cannot always be replicated [33]. The effect of lyrics on behaviour is not unique to prosocial lyrics, as studies have found that aggressive lyrics can lead to more aggression, romantic lyrics can lead to increased compliance in a courtship request [34] and misogyny can be decreased using pro-equality lyrics [35]. However, all of these studies use experimental settings with predetermined music with lyrics as stimuli, which is far different from the experience of listening to music in real life. ...
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