ArticlePDF Available

Coping with Stress: The Effectiveness of Different Types of Music

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

Listening to classical and self-selected relaxing music after exposure to a stressor should result in significant reductions in anxiety, anger, and sympathetic nervous system arousal, and increased relaxation compared to those who sit in silence or listen to heavy metal music. Fifty-six college students, 15 males and 41 females, were exposed to different types of music genres after experiencing a stressful test. Several 4 x 2 mixed design analyses of variance were conducted to determine the effects of music and silence conditions (heavy metal, classical, or self-selected music and silence) and time (pre-post music) on emotional state and physiological arousal. Results indicate listening to self-select or classical music, after exposure to a stressor, significantly reduces negative emotional states and physiological arousal compared to listening to heavy metal music or sitting in silence.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Coping with Stress: The Effectiveness of Different Types of Music
Elise Labbe
´
Æ Nicholas Schmidt Æ Jonathan Babin Æ
Martha Pharr
Published online: 27 October 2007
Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007
Abstract Listening to classical and self-selected relaxing
music after exposure to a stressor should result in significant
reductions in anxiety, anger, and sympathetic nervous system
arousal, and increased relaxation compared to those who sit in
silence or listen to heavy metal music. Fifty-six college stu-
dents, 15 males and 41 females, were exposed to different
types of music genres after experiencing a stressful test.
Several 4 · 2 mixed design analyses of variance were con-
ducted to determine the effects of music and silence conditions
(heavy metal, classical, or self-selected music and silence) and
time (pre–post music) on emotional state and physiological
arousal. Results indicate listening to self-select or classical
music, after exposure to a stressor, significantly reduces neg-
ative emotional states and physiological arousal compared to
listening to heavy metal music or sitting in silence.
Keywords Stress Anger SNS arousal Music types
Music may be a medium to help young people reduce
negative emotions. In reviewing the research literature one
finds a lack of scientific studies on the psychophysiological
effects of different types of music in young people. Music
is an important aspect of youth culture and most young
people listen to music for a variety of reasons (Trzcinski
1994). Young people report that music can help them relax
and will often have a collection of favorite ‘tunes’ that they
will listen to when they are feeling ‘stressed out’
(Knobloch and Zillman 2002). Burns et al. (1999, 2002)
and Labbe
´
et al. (2004) report findings that suggest
listening to relaxing music, such as some selections of
classical music, results in the listener experiencing positive
emotions and increases in parasympathetic nervous system
arousal. They observed participants’ reaction to what is
traditionally considered relaxing music and hypothesized
that an individual’s perception of whether they believed the
music was relaxing may be an important factor in inducing
relaxation. Self-selected music refers to music that the
participants chose as relaxing.
In the current study we evaluated music the person
believes is relaxing to determine whether listening to music
that one is attracted to can be an effective coping response
to negative emotion. Allowing the person to select music
gives them control over some aspect of the experimental
situation. Health psychology research indicates perceived
control is an important factor in reducing the stress
response (Brannon and Fiest 2007). Self-selected rather
than prescribed music may be more effective in reducing
stress as it allows the person to control some aspect of their
environment by allowing them to choose music that they
believe is relaxing.
In contrast to the effects of relaxing music, Anderson
et al. (2003) report on five experiments involving over 500
college students that examined the effects of seven violent
songs by seven artists and eight nonviolent songs by seven
artists. After listening to a music selection the college
student was given tasks to complete that measure aggres-
sive thoughts and emotions. The results indicated that
violent songs compared to nonviolent songs led to more
aggressive thoughts and feelings of hostility even when not
provoked. However, they did not measure physiological
arousal. Listening to soothing and relaxing music may play
an important role in reducing negative emotions and
increasing positive emotions and parasympathetic arousal.
However, some types of music may actually increase
E. Labbe
´
(&) N. Schmidt J. Babin M. Pharr
Department of Psychology, University of South Alabama,
Mobile, AL 36688, USA
e-mail: elabbe@usouthal.edu
123
Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback (2007) 32:163–168
DOI 10.1007/s10484-007-9043-9
negative emotions and sympathetic nervous system arou-
sal; this differential effect of music in young people has not
been adequately tested.
In previous studies we found mixed results regarding
changes in physiological responses, particularly with heart
rate (Burns et al. 1999, 2002; and Labbe
´
et al. 2004). In
these previous studies we used a plethysmograph placed on
the ventral side of the middle finger of the right hand to
measure heart rate. The plethysmograph was chosen over
placing electrodes on the chest because it was less invasive.
We discovered that the plethysmograph is very susceptible
to motion artifacts and is not as reliable a measure of heart
rate as using EKG electrodes placed on the chest. In the
current study we were able to measure heart rate using
EKG electrodes placed on the chest, with the hopes that we
would obtain more reliable heart rate data. A second
problem addressed in the current study was to allow the
participants to listen to music or sit in silence for a longer
period of time, 20 min instead of 10. And finally instead of
trying to increase arousal by telling the participants that
they would be engaging in a stressful test after listening to
music or sitting in silence, we actually administered the
stressful test prior to listening to music.
We hypothesized that individuals who are exposed to
classical music or self-selected relaxing music will demon-
strate significant reductions in anxiety, anger, and
sympathetic nervous system arousal, and an increase in
feelings of relaxation as compared to those who sit in silence
or listen to heavy metal music. Another hypothesis was there
would be a significant positive relationship with ratings of a
person’s use of music for relaxation and relaxation experi-
enced during the self-selected and classical music conditions.
Method
Participants
Fifty-six college students attending a southeastern univer-
sity participated (X age = 22.54), 15 males and 41
females—11% of the participants were African American;
82% were Caucasian, 2% were Asian and 2% were ‘other’
ethnicity. Participants received 5% grade credit in their
psychology courses for participation in the study. The
Institutional Review Board of the university approved the
study and the ethical standards of the American Psycho-
logical Association were upheld in conducting the study.
Measures and Apparatus
Measures included a demographic questionnaire, Relaxa-
tion Rating Scale (RRS), Music Rating Scale (MRS), State-
Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2 (STAIX-2), State-Trait
Anxiety Inventory-Form Y (STAI-Y) and physiological
assessment of heart rate, respiration and skin conductance.
A cognitive speed test was used to elicit sympathetic ner-
vous system arousal. Measures and apparatus are described
below.
The Relaxation Rating Scale (RRS) requires the par-
ticipant to rate his/her level of relaxation on a Likert-type
scale with 1 being ‘Not relaxed at all’ and 7 being
‘Totally relaxed’ by circling the number that best descri-
bed his/her level of relaxation. Higher scores indicated the
participant was more relaxed.
The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) Form Y is a
40-item self-report survey. Twenty of the items require an
individual to rate how they feel ‘at this moment’; these
items make up the State Anxiety Scale. The other 20 items
require the individual to rate how they feel ‘generally’;
these items make up the Trait Anxiety Scale. Higher scores
indicate great levels of anxiety for both scales. Test–retest
correlations for the State Anxiety Scale range from .16 to
.62, and correlations for the Trait Anxiety Scale range from
.73 to .86. The relatively low test–retest correlations found
on the State Anxiety Scale are in keeping with the transi-
tory nature of the construct being measured (Spielberger
et al. 1983). The use of the STAI to validate other mea-
sures of state and trait anxiety supports its construct
validity (Corr and Gray 1996; Osman et al. 1997; Sapp
et al. 1997).
The State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2 (STAXI-
2) was used to measure state and trait anger. The STAXI-2
is a self-report survey, which scores experience of anger
along multiple axes: State and Trait Anger (S-Ang and
T-Ang) as well as Anger Control and Anger Expression.
The full STAXI-2 is a 57-item self-report instrument, with
six scales and five subscales (Spielberger 1999). Scores for
S-Ang and T-Ang are divided into S-Ang/F, S-Ang/V, and
S-Ang/P, etc. for feelings of anger, expression of anger
verbally, and physical expression of anger, respectively.
Also included in the full STAXI-2 is an Anger Expression
Index score, distinguishing Anger Expression In and Anger
Expression Out. The STAX-I has been demonstrated to
correlate ‘strongly’ with the Buss-Durkee Hostility
Inventory and Overt Hostility scales of the MMPI (Spiel-
berger 1999) arguing for convergent validity.
A small testing room containing a recliner and two
speakers was used. A 40-W desk lamp softly lighted the
room. Heart rate was measured by placing EKG gel elec-
trodes on the chest, providing the best signal quality. The
negative lead was placed on the right shoulder, the positive
lead at the xphoid process and the ground lead on the left
shoulder. An abdominal placement for respiration was used
by strapping the respiration sensor’s Velcro fastener across
the participant, at the belly-button level with the rubber
164 Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback (2007) 32:163–168
123
tube placed on the front. The strap was adjusted so that
there was a slight tension when the participant fully
breathed out. A second respiration sensor for thoracic
breathing was wrapped around the participant just below
the armpit level. Each electrode of the skin conductance
sensor was strapped around the finger pads of the index and
annular fingers. The electrodes were placed on the palm
side of the finger. Heart rate, respiration and skin con-
ductance were monitored using a Procomp+ encoder.
Leads for each monitor were routed through a Procomp+
encoder, and data was processed, observed and recorded
with the use of CardioPro 2.0 software. Please refer to the
Cardiopro
TM
, Version 2.0 Installation and User Manual for
more detailed technical information.
Physiological data was averaged over 5-min periods.
Data from the last 5 min of the ‘stress test’ was used to
assess the stress/pre-music period in order to achieve a
consistent baseline across participants. In order to achieve
a more valid indicator of the effects of the experimental
conditions, participants listened to music/silence for a
longer period (10 versus 20 min) than we had done in
previous studies and we used the data from the last 5 min.
We did this because immediately after completing the
‘stress test’ all participants experienced some reduction in
their physiological responses and we wanted to make sure
that the data we used to assess the experimental conditions
were not affected by just the relief from the stressor being
removed.
A brief, ‘cognitive speed test’ was administered to
elicit sympathetic nervous system arousal, simulating a
negative stressor. The test took about 10 min and contained
80 simple calculations and 16 difficult mathematical
operations to be completed in 45 s, 8 number memory
items (9–10 string of single digits), 12 difficult verbal
analogies, and spelling 14 difficult words.
Two compact discs were used for the heavy metal and
classical selections. Each music selection was 20 min long.
A professor of music created the discs using music selec-
tions that met several parameters. For the classical CD, the
majority of the selections were in the Baroque style with
moderate to slow tempo markings, i.e. Andante, Adagio,
Largo. The crescendo and accelerando are not character-
istic to this style, so the tempo and dynamics remained
relatively constant throughout each track. Also, the selec-
tions were entirely instrumental, with strings as the
dominant musical timbre. In creating the Heavy Metal CD,
it was difficult to find works without vocals, and it was her
opinion that lyrics would divert the listener’s attention
from the task at hand, so the vocals on this CD are in
German, which was not the native language of any of the
subjects. Thus the listener is easily able to dismiss the
lyrics as containing any relevant content and they become
just another musical timbre. This CD also had consistent
tempi from track to track, much faster and the general
dynamic was much louder than that of the classical CD. In
this case, any crescendi or acceleration within a track were
allowable as the purpose of this collection was to agitate
the listener. In addition to the angst filled German vocals,
the instrumental timbres of electric guitar, heavy bass,
drums and electronica also served to grate on the con-
sciousness of the listener. The overall mix of each CD was
to create a wash of sound in its particular style that would
not contain any obvious climaxes or points of arrival.
Participants were instructed to bring a compact disc with
20 min of music that they believed was relaxing. Most
participants brought country music, soft jazz and easy lis-
tening rock music selections. Music was heard through
dynamic type stereo headphones and set at a volume level
that was approved by an audiologist.
Procedure
Participants were randomly assigned to self-selected,
classical, or heavy metal music conditions or silence.
Participants completed the demographic questionnaire and
trait scales and then physiological sensors were attached.
Baseline physiological data was recorded for 10 min.
Participants were administered a mentally challenging test
and then completed the state anxiety and anger scales and
Relaxation Rating Scale (RRS). They were told they would
either sit in silence or listen to music for 20 min. After
sitting in silence or listening to music they were again
given the state anxiety and anger scales, RRS and Music
Rating Scale. Physiological sensors were detached and then
the participants were debriefed.
Results
Several 4 · 2 mixed design analyses of variance with
repeated measures were conducted to determine the effects
of the music and silence conditions (heavy metal, classical,
or self-selected music and silence) and time (stress/pre
music, post-last 5 min of music/silence) on state anxiety
and anger scores, rating of relaxation, heart rate, respiration
and skin conductance. See Table 1 for means and standard
deviations for physiological variables. In order to test ini-
tial predictions, select t-tests were conducted even though
only a significant main effect was found. Furthermore, we
were interested in exploring not only statistically signifi-
cant differences but clinically significant differences as
well.
For state anxiety a significant Time · Music/Silence
interaction was present (F(3,50) = 3.74, p = .02). In addi-
tion the main effect for time was significant (F(1,50) = 7.93,
Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback (2007) 32:163–168 165
123
p = .01). The main effect for music/silence condition was
not significant (F(3,50) = .93, p = .44). Post hoc paired-
sample t tests indicate that the groups listening to heavy
metal (t(12) = –1.01, p = .33) or silence (t(10) =
1.97, p = .07) did not experience a decrease in state anxiety;
where as participants listening to classical (t(15) =
3.07, p = .01) or self-selected music (t(13) = 3.27, p = .01)
experienced decreases in state anxiety, see Fig. 1.
For ratings of relaxation a significant Time · Music
interaction was present (F(3,46) = 3.52, p = .02). In addi-
tion the main effect for time was significant (F(1,46) =
63.54, p = .00). The main effect for music/silence condi-
tion was not significant (F(3,46) = 2.58, p = .06). Post hoc
paired-sample t tests demonstrate the group listening to
heavy metal did not have changes in ratings of relaxation
(t(10) = –1.00, p = .34) where as the groups listening to
silence(t(9) = –5.07, p = .00), classical (t(14) = –5.14,
p = .00) or self-selected (t(13) = –6.25, p = .00) music did
have increases in ratings of relaxation, refer to Fig. 2.
For state anger a significant main effect for time was
present (F(1,49) = 6.95, p = .01). The Time · Music/
Silence interaction was not significant (F(3,49) = 1.99,
p = .13). The main effect for music/silence condition was
not significant (F(3,49) = 1.94, p = .145). Post hoc paired-
sample t tests indicates that the group listening to silence
(t(10) = 3.53,
p = .00) or self-selected (t(12) = 3.41,
p = .00) music experienced more of a decrease in state
anger than participants listening to heavy metal (t(12) =
–.43, p = .67) or classical (t(15) = .60, p = .56), refer to
Fig. 3.
For heart rate a significant main effect for time was
present (F(1,50) = 4.96, p = .03). The Time · Music/
Silence interaction was not significant (F(3,50) = 1.21,
p = .35). The main effect for music/silence condition was
not significant (F(3,50) = .20, p = .98). Post hoc paired-
sample t tests indicate the listening to self-selected music
(t(13) = 4.56, p = .00) experienced a decrease in heart rate
where as participants listening to classical (t(15) = 1.48,
p = .16), heavy metal music (t(12) = .48, p = .64) or
silence (t(10) = .03, p = .99) did not.
For respiration a significant main effect for time was
present (F(1,50) = 7.22, p = .01). The Time · Music/
Silence interaction was not significant (F(3,50) = .74,
p = .53). The main effect for music/silence condition was
not significant (F(3,50) = 1.78, p = .16). Post hoc paired-
sample t tests indicates the group listening to classical
(t(14) = 2.36, p = .03) and heavy metal (t(13) = 2.42,
p = .03) music experienced lower respiration rates than
participants listening to self-selected (t(13) = 1.25,
p = .23) or silence (t(10) = .06, p = .95).
For skin conductance a significant main effect for time
was present (F
(1,46) = 46.85, p = .00). The Time · Music/
Table 1 Means and standard deviations for heart rate, respiration and
skin conductance for stress and music or silence conditions
Physiological measures Stress X (SD) Music/Silence X (SD)
Heart rate
Silence 82.47 (8.24) 82.31 (19.24)
Heavy metal 86.12 (9.88) 84.32 (12.99)
Classical 89.66 (10.91) 82.61 (24.25)
Self-select 89.13 (11.35) 79.39 (11.94)
Respiration
Silence 35.57 (7.84) 35.46 (9.99)
Heavy metal 36.10 (10.88) 33.49 (12.65)
Classical 30.05 (7.56) 27.52 (6.55)
Self-select 36.62 (9.58) 34.98 (11.19)
Skin-conductance
Silence 3.84 (2.10) 2.92 (2.11)
Heavy metal 4.14 (1.73) 3.45 (1.55)
Classical 4.71 (2.57) 3.11 (2.15)
Self-select 5.23 (2.28) 3.16 (1.80)
38
40
42
44
46
48
50
52
54
Silence Self-Select Heavy Metal Classical
Music Groups
yteix
nA et
atS
Pre Music
Post Music
Fig. 1 State anxiety scores, pre music (stress) and post music or
silence
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Silence Self-Select Heavy Metal Classical
Music Groups
sgnitaR noitaxaleR
Pre Music
Post Music
Fig. 2 Relaxation ratings of pre music (stress) and post music or
silence
166 Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback (2007) 32:163–168
123
Silence interaction was also significant (F(3,46) = 2.84,
p = .05). The main effect for music/silence condition was
not significant (F(3,46) = .39, p = .76). Post hoc paired-
sample t tests indicated that all groups experienced a sig-
nificant decrease in skin conductance: classical (t(13) =
5.38, p = .00), self-selected music (t(11) = 3.61, p = .00),
heavy metal (t(12) = 3.07, p = .01) and silence (t(10) =
2.15, p = .047).
A significant Pearson Product Moment Correlation,
r = .52, p = .00 with ratings of use of music for relaxation
and how much they liked the self-selected or classical
music was found, but not with relaxation experienced
during the self-selected and classical music condition,
r = .24, p = .21.
Discussion
The results of our study support the hypothesis that indi-
viduals who are exposed to classical music or self-selected
relaxing music after exposure to a stressor will demonstrate
significant reductions in state anxiety and an increase in
feelings of relaxation as compared to those who sit in silence
or listen to heavy metal music. Listening to self-selected and
classical music produced increased feelings of relaxation as
well as sitting in silence but not for the heavy metal condi-
tion. Listening to classical and self-selected music elicited
reductions in state anxiety after exposure to a stressor.
Interestingly, those participants who listened to heavy metal
music not only experienced greater levels of state anxiety
but were even more anxious after listening to the heavy
metal music than when they were being stressed.
State anger scores decreased significantly over time for
all participants. However, post hoc t tests indicated that
listening to self-select music resulted in the lowest rating of
state anger as compared to the other conditions. Note-
worthy is that although all groups demonstrated some
decrease in state anger scores the self-select group dem-
onstrated the most ‘clinical’ change as scores decreased
from a mean of 50 to a mean of 39 as compared to the high
40s for the other groups. The self-select condition may
foster feelings of personal control as the individual is
allowed to listen to music that they chose as relaxing. This
finding is consistent with research on perceived control and
its relationship to feelings of anger and irritability.
Heart rate and respiration decreased over time, regard-
less of the music/silence condition. Post hoc t tests suggest
that participants in the self-select and classical music con-
ditions experienced greater reductions in heart rate after
being stressed than the other groups. Interestingly, respi-
ration decreased the most for the classical and heavy metal
music conditions. These results are consistent with previous
studies that we have conducted in that although some
changes in physiological arousal were found they were not
as significantly altered compared to participants’ report of
their emotional state. For example, participants in the heavy
metal condition reported increases in anxiety and anger and
little change in their feelings of relaxation, however, their
physiological arousal as measured by skin conductance and
respiration did decrease over time, although not as much as
the other groups. Listening to music may affect the emo-
tional and cognitive experience of an individual more than
their physiological arousal. However, participants listening
to their own music demonstrated greater consistency in self-
report of emotions and changes in physiological arousal as
five out of the potential six responses (stage anger and
anxiety, relaxation, heart rate, skin conductance and respi-
ration) were significantly changed compared to the other
groups. Those listening to classical music demonstrated
changes in four of the six responses, sitting in silence
resulted in changes of three responses and listening to heavy
metal only resulted in reductions of two responses (skin
conductance and respiration).
We did not find a significant positive relationship with
ratings of a person’s use of music for relaxation and
relaxation experienced during the self-selected and classi-
cal music conditions. One reason that the correlation may
have not been significant was the participants who listened
to self-select and classical music had a mean relaxation
rating of 6.45 (SD = 1.05) out of 7, indicating a very
homogenous response. Therefore there was not enough
variability in their ratings of relaxation for a significant
correlation to occur. However, participants’ report of how
frequently they used music to relax was related to greater
ratings of liking classical or select selected music.
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Silence Self-Select Heavy Metal Classical
Music Groups
t
StaA e
ng
er
Pre Music
Post Music
Fig. 3 State anger scores pre (stress) and post music or silence
Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback (2007) 32:163–168 167
123
A concern with this study is that the participants were
college students and findings might not be appropriately
generalized to other groups of individuals. We did find that
measuring heart rate using EKG sensors placed on the chest
provided a more reliable measure than using a plethysmo-
graph on the finger. Thus we are more confident in the
results of the current study. Actually stressing the partici-
pants prior to listening to the music created a better measure
of the participants feeling stressed as it resulted in a greater
range of emotional and physiological responses that could
be potentially affected by the experimental conditions.
Extending the time listening to music or sitting in silence
allowed us to be more confident that changes over time was
related to the experimental condition rather than just feeling
less stressed because the stress test was over.
In conclusion, listening to some types of music genres
elicit positive emotional and cognitive states, and reduces
sympathetic nervous system arousal compared to sitting in
silence or listening to heavy metal music. Therefore, lis-
tening to self-selected or classical music might be useful as
a stress management strategy, especially if an individual is
unwilling to sit in silence for a long enough time to achieve
a relaxation response.
Acknowledgment This project was supported by Grant # 2001-SI-
FX-0006 awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.
References
Anderson, C. A., Carnagey, N. L., & Eubanks, J. (2003). Exposure to
violent media: the effects of songs with violent lyrics on
aggressive thoughts and feelings. Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology, 84, 4, 960–971.
Brannon, L., & Fiest, J. (2007). Health psychology: An introduction to
behavior and health, 6th edn. Belmont: Thomson-Worth.
Burns, J. L., Labbe
´
, E., Arke, B., Capeless, K., Cooksey, B.,
Steadman, A., & Gonzales, C. (2002). The effects of different
types of music on perceived and physiological measures of
stress. Journal of Music Therapy, 28, 104–116.
Burns, J. L., Labbe
´
, E., Williams, K., & McCall, J. (1999). Perceived
and physiological indicators of relaxation: As different as
Mozart and Alice in Chains. Applied Psychophysiology and
Biofeedback, 24, 197–202.
Corr, P. J., & Gray, J. A. (1996) Structure and validity of the
attributional style questionnaire: A cross-sample comparison.
The Journal of Psychology, 130, 645–647.
Knobloch, S., & Zillman, D. (2002) Mood management via the digital
jukebox. Journal of Communication, June, 351–366.
Labbe
´
, E., Booth, K., Jimerson, M., & Kawamura, N. (2004). The
sound of music: Evaluating responses to different music genres,
to be presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern
Psychological Association, Atlanta, GA, March.
Osman, A., Kopper, B. A., Barrios, F. X., Osman, J. R., & Wade, T.
(1997). The Beck anxiety inventory: Reexamination of factor
structure and psychometric properties. Journal of Clinical
Psychology, 53, 7–14.
Sapp, M., Farrell, W. C., Johnson, J. H., & Ioannidis, G. (1997).
Utilizing the PK scale of the MMPI-2 to detect y
¨
osttraumatic
stress disorder in college students. Journal of Clinical Psychol-
ogy, 53, 841–846.
Spielberger, C. D. (1999). STAXI-2 state-trait anger expression
inventory-2 professional manual. Lutz: Psychological Assess-
ment Resources, Inc.
Spielberger, C. D., Gorsuch, R. L., Lushene, R., Vagg, P. R., & Jacobs,
G. A. (1983). Manual for the state-trait anxiety inventory: Form
Y. Palo Alto: Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc.
Trzcinski, J. (1994) Today’s music: Poetry or pornography? Correc-
tions Today, 56(7), 148.
168 Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback (2007) 32:163–168
123
... The relaxation effects of music on stress, anxiety, and lowering of the neurohumoral markers have been evaluated in several research works [11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18]. Active music intervention has proven to be beneficial in people afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder [19,20]. ...
... Active music intervention has proven to be beneficial in people afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder [19,20]. Young people report that music can help them relax and often have a collection of favorite 'tunes' that they listen to when they feel stressed out [15,21]. In a cross-sectional study, we observed a significant drop in state anxiety after listening to Indian music [22], and in another follow-up study, we observed a significant reduction in state and trait anxiety after 3 months of Indian music intervention on 100 pre-hypertensives and hypertensives [23]. ...
... The current study's findings are similar to this, wherein any music intervention reduced anxiety levels, but the level of reduction depended on the melodic mode and, probably, its features. A reduction in anxiety after listening to music is the most consistent finding reported in field studies with patients [84][85][86] and laboratory-based studies [15,84,85]. Music may be a way to help young people reduce negative emotions [15]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Among the different anthropogenic stimuli humans are exposed to, the psychological and cardiovascular effects of auditory stimuli are less understood. This study aims to explore the possible range of change after a single session of auditory stimulation with three different ‘Modes’ of musical stimuli (MS) on anxiety, biomarkers of stress, and cardiovascular parameters among healthy young individuals. In this randomized control trial, 140 healthy young adults, aged 18–30 years, were randomly assigned to three MS groups (Mode/Raga Miyan ki Todi, Malkauns, and Puriya) and one control group (natural sounds). The outcome measurements of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, salivary alpha-amylase (sAA), salivary cortisol (sCort), blood pressure, and heart rate variability (HRV) were collected at three time points: before (M1), during (M2), and after the intervention (M3). State anxiety was reduced significantly with raga Puriya (p = 0.018), followed by raga Malkauns and raga Miyan Ki Todi. All the groups showed a significant reduction in sAA. Raga Miyan ki Todi and Puriya caused an arousal effect (as evidenced by HRV) during the intervention and significant relaxation after the intervention (both p < 0.005). Raga Malkauns and the control group had a sustained rise in parasympathetic activity over 30 min. Future studies should try to use other modes and features to develop a better scientific foundation for the use of Indian music in medicine.
... In the field of medicine and psychology, it is widely recognised that tension and fear increase sympathetic activity, decreases the standard deviation of normal to normal (SDNN), and the increase the mean heart rate (MeanHR) as well as the skin conductance (SC); calmness or depression increases parasympathetic activity and increases MeanHR (Table 1). Labbe et al. measured participants' EDA to reflect their negative emotional states and physiological arousal [28,29]. Salahuddin et al. measured subjects' HRV to reflect their emotional stress [30,31]. ...
Article
In a gymnasium in Harbin, China, a survey was performed under different lighting conditions to determine the factors influencing the user assessment of daylight environments and define visual comfort thresholds for mass sports activities. Nine subjects experienced the simulated visual environment of basketball shooting by observing the backboard from a designated position, and their visual comfort preferences were evaluated through subjective questionnaires and objective physiological measurements. A total of 108 diverse visual environments were recorded using high dynamic range photography to acquire luminance. The questionnaire factor analysis suggested that the user assessments were mainly determined by their emotional state, glare perception, and visual clarity. The physiological baseline state threshold was proposed based on the physiological measurement data; it described the daylight luminance of the subjects when their physiological value under only natural lighting reached their physiological value under electric lighting. The analysis of the luminance and questionnaire data defined user visual comfort thresholds under only natural lighting: an acceptable average luminance threshold of 42 cd/m² and a comfortable average luminance threshold of 80 cd/m² in the entire field of view (FOV); an acceptable maximum luminance threshold of 4800 cd/m² and a comfortable maximum luminance threshold of 6700 cd/m² in the entire FOV; a recommended average luminance threshold of 100 cd/m² in the target area; an acceptable luminance ratio threshold of 42 and a comfort luminance ratio threshold of 21 between the average luminance in window area and the entire FOV.
... Although media consumption is among the most popular methods of coping with stress (Nabi et al., 2017), only a small body of research to date examines how media use might mitigate stress responses. Thus far, this research overwhelmingly focuses on the media that people naturally select, whether it be video games (Reinecke, 2009), television and movies (Nabi et al., 2022), or music (e.g., Labbé et al., 2007). While the evidence broadly supports the claim that such selection is associated with lower stress (e.g., Nabi et al., 2022), there is a need for longitudinal data to determine the causal effects of media consumption on stress relief and for deeper consideration of the optimal media content suitable to mitigate stress. ...
Article
This research attempts to both replicate initial research on media prescriptions - the assignment of small doses of positively-valenced media for the purposes of reducing perceived stress - and, through the lens of the broaden-and-build theory, shed light on the process through which this effect might emerge. Two longitudinal data sets were collected, one with college students (N = 182) and one with U.S. adults (N = 197), in which participants were assigned to watch either comedic or inspiring media clips every day for 5 days. Findings indicated that both amusement and hope generated by media exposure reduced perceived stress over time. Specifically, inspiring media reduced perceived stress through its effect on felt hope for both samples, whereas comedic media reduced perceived stress via felt amusement for the general adult sample only. Further, as predicted, serial mediation through felt emotion and coping efficacy emerged for amusement in the student sample and for hope in the general sample. Given these data were collected during an inordinately stressful time in both the U.S. and the world with rising rates of COVID-19, a highly contentious political election, and tensions over racial inequity, these findings suggest that media, if harnessed appropriately, could be a useful tool in one's coping arsenal. A call for better understanding of the process through which media prescriptions have effect and their boundary conditions is advanced.
... According to Labbe et al. (2007), listening to classical or self-selected relaxing music after a stressful event reduces anxiety, anger, and sympathetic nervous system arousal and increases relaxation compared to silence or heavy metal music. Moreover, music listening is one of the most effective coping strategies for young people. ...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 outbreak in the Philippines forced schools to close. Many Filipino students were stranded in their dormitories and boarding houses due to government-imposed lockdowns. As the study's impetus, the researchers explored the phenomenon of stranded students during a pandemic. A transcendental phenomenological inquiry was conducted in Northern Mindanao, Philippines, to disclose the experiences of six stranded students. Stranded students' lifeworld throughout the lockdown was documented through phenomenological interviews. The phenomenological reduction technique was used to transcribe and analyze the data. Provisional codes were used to classify critical statements into themes for the initial analysis of the interview data. The research revealed the themes of (a) groping in the dark, (b) journeying towards the light, and (c) welcoming the breaking dawn. The various stages of reality in the life of the stranded students are shown in these topics. They relate the story of how their confinement experience taught them to be resilient, which covers resilience as a process. The paper discusses numerous pedagogical implications of the phenomenon.
... Both self-selected and researcher-selected music have been shown to be related to lower stress levels (Witte et al., 2019). However, self-selected music is thought to have a more profound effect on health-related outcomes, possibly due to a higher liking of and memories associated with the music together with increased feelings of control (Labbé et al., 2007;Lunde et al., 2019). Furthermore, selfselected music is a more ecologically valid stimulus, as it represents typical music listening behaviors of everyday life (Eerola and Vuoskoski, 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Despite the growing potential of mobile-based technologies, innovative interventions targeting the reduction of acute stress in daily life remain under-researched. Music listening is an easy-to-administer activity that is associated with lower levels of biological and self-reported stress. However, the application of music as an intervention in moments of acute stress in daily life remains to be examined. We developed a just-in-time intervention delivering music in moments of stressful experiences in daily life and tested its feasibility using a mixed methods approach. Methods: In this uncontrolled pilot study, the ecological momentary music intervention (EMMI) was tested by 10 chronically stressed women aged 23.5 ± 3.3 years. Over 18 consecutive days, whenever participants reported stressful experiences, they were encouraged to listen to a self-compiled playlist. Subjective stress levels and saliva samples were assessed at three time points per stress report (T 0 , upon reporting a stressful situation; T 1 , directly after music listening/15 min after T 0 in case of no music listening; T 2 , 15 min after T 1 ). We analyzed app-based log data, in-the-moment responses, questionnaire data, and semi-structured interview data. Results: On average, participants’ compliance with the study protocol lay at 70%. Overall, 65 stressful experiences were reported, 51 of which were followed by music listening, for an average duration of 12:53 min. Complete data (i.e., self-reports and saliva samples at all three time points) were provided for 46 stressful experiences. Participants reported immediate relaxation and distraction through music listening. The interviews revealed that the intervention was easy to use and that music listening in moments of perceived stress was viewed as a new and pleasant activity. Several aspects of the protocol (e.g., number of items and prompts) were identified, which should be improved in future studies. Conclusion: Since repeated stressful experiences in daily life can pose a threat to physical and mental integrity, interventions that are easily applicable and deliver support when needed most are necessary. Following minor adaptations, the EMMI can be considered as a feasible approach to target psychobiological stress responses in daily life, which is worthy of investigation in future larger-scale trials.
Article
Full-text available
Heart rate variability biofeedback (HRVB) is a behavioral intervention that uses resonance frequency breathing to synchronize the heart rate and breathing patterns. This study aimed to explore how many sessions of wearable HRVB devices are needed to increase the HRV index and decrease breathing rates and to compare the HRVB protocol with other psychological intervention programs in HRV indices and breathing rates. Sixty-four participants were randomly assigned to either the HRVB or relaxation training (RT) group. Both groups received interbeat intervals (IBIs) and breathing rates measurement at the pre-training baseline, during training, and post-training baseline from weeks 1 to 4. IBIs were transformed into HRV indices as the index of the autonomic nervous system. The Group × Week interaction effects significantly in HRV indices and breathing rates. The between-group comparison found a significant increase in HRV indices and decreased breathing rates in the HRVB group than in the RT group at week 4. The within-session comparison in the HRVB group revealed significantly increased HRV indices and decreased breathing rates at weeks 3 and 4 than at weeks 1 and 2. There was a significant increase in HRV indices and a decrease in breathing rates at mid- and post-training than pre-training in the HRVB group. Therefore, 4 weeks of HRVB combined with a wearable device are needed in increasing HRV indices and decrease breathing rates compared to the relaxation training. Three weeks of HRVB training are the minimum requirement for increasing HRV indices and reducing breathing rates compared to the first week of HRVB.
Article
Full-text available
Visual comfort is affected by the light environment of interior spaces. However, relatively few studies have combined subjective and objective indicators of visual comfort in the assessment of indoor sport facilities. Thus, the purpose of this was to determine the factors influencing visual comfort and establish corresponding thresholds by combining subjective evaluation, objective physiological indicators, and photometric light environment assessment. The experiment was conducted at a university gymnasium in Harbin, located in the northeast of China, during summer, autumn, and winter. The visual comfort of the participants was assessed via subjective evaluation via questionnaires, and objective physiological indicators were recorded using biosensors. Additionally, high-dynamic-range images were used to assess the light environment. Subjective evaluation revealed that visual comfort was affected by the glare intensity, target clarity, and emotional state. Objective physiological indicators showed that emotional arousal and alertness were higher in autumn and winter than in summer. Furthermore, the physiological indicators and subjective evaluation of visual comfort were highly consistent with each other. In summer, acceptable ranges of the luminance ratio of the window area to the field of view were less than 5 and greater than 10, and comfortable ranges were less than 3 and greater than 12. In winter, the upper acceptable and comfortable thresholds were 42 and 13, respectively. This study provides a reference point for optimizing gymnasium light environment design.
Article
Mental stress persisting for long can cause severe health issues. There are various approaches available in the literature for investigating stress through speech utterances. The available procedure to obtain speech under stress dataset requires the speakers to undergo the actual stress situations in a real environment with limited control or inducing stress with a mental task in a lab environment. These approaches either suffer from ethical issues or unreliable labeling of the obtained speech samples. In this paper, we attempt to overcome these limitations with Induced mental Stress based speech production And labeling Procedure (ISAP), for obtaining speech utterances under mental stress along with labeling the samples simultaneously. The proposed ISAP can be incorporated by future studies as per their need to create a speech under stress dataset. We also present the obtained dataset, the baseline experiments, and classification results with various machine learning models. A total of 1260 speech utterances are obtained, with ISAP able to induce stress in 54.4% of the cases. The accuracy of the SVM classifier in recognizing three stress classes, namely, No Stress, Low Stress, and High Stress is found to be 57.1%.
Article
The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of insomnia among three United Arab Emirates (UAE) university students, of different majors; namely, Ajman University, University of Sharjah and the American University of Sharjah from March 2021 to June 2021, through comparing components of everyday behavioral activities with their sleep patterns and overall sleep quality. The questionnaire was distributed in two forms; online via the Planet Survey Website and paper-based. Three hundred and eighty out of four hundred, with 95% response rate, UAE university students, 48.7% males and 51.3% females, average aged 24 years completed a questionnaire on insomnia that includes sociodemographic, the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and lifestyle details. Most of the participants were Muslims (95.5%), 74.5% of them were Arabs, 94.3% were singles and 91.6% were full-time students. The resultant prevalence of insomnia among the students was assessed by three criteria. These are, time to fall asleep, quality of sleep and respondents with and without problem sleeping. With respect to time to fall asleep, 51.8% of respondents needs ≥ 30 minutes to fall asleep, 29.2% of them were females and 22.6% males. Regarding quality of sleep, both genders scored almost identical figures of 19.5% and 2% for fairly and bad quality of sleep respectively. With respect to problem sleeping, 37.9% of respondents were having problem sleeping, 22.4% of them females and 15.5% males. Our results identified some significant relations between some sleep disorders and behavior or diseases. Nightmares had a significant relation with listening to rap music (p<0.031), play with cell phone or tablet before sleeping (p <0.023), drinking tea and coffee (p<0.004), energy drinks (p<0.034) take a medicine to promote sleeping (p <0.017), as well as allergic rhinitis (p<0.009). Whereas falling experience had a significant relation with listening to pop music (p<0.018), play with cell phone or tablet before sleeping (p<0.009) and diseases like hypothyroidism (p<0.009) and diabetes (p<0.009). On the other hand, spinning room experience had a significant relation with cardiac diseases (p<0.019), take a medicine to promote sleeping (p<0.003), hyperthyroidism (p <0.009) and listening to rap music (p<0.015). The results also identified that sleep-walk had a significant relation with listening to rock music (p<0.050), and rap music (p< 0.035) before bed. Whereas sleep-talk had a significant relation with asthma (p<0.048) and hypertension (p< 0.034). This study provides preliminary data on sleep quality and risk factors for insomnia, which may be used to guide sleep hygiene promotion and intervention among university students.
Article
Full-text available
The authors of this work, noticing that opera is a combination of music and theater, examined the relationship between listening to opera music and mood changes in people over 50 years of age. The study took the form of a quasi-experiment. Recipients were invited to the previously prepared room, where the audiovisual material – a recording of the opera “La Traviata” – was presented for the first time. This was preceded by the respondents completing the SUPIN C30 and S30 questionnaires and a short survey by the authors. After the presentation of the stimulus, the subjects again filled in the SUPIN S30 questionnaire scale and the GEMS scale. The described procedure was carried out twice, using two different music materials. The procedure remained unchanged, while the audiovisual material changed. The second time, the participants were presented with a recording from the opera “The Barber of Seville”. The participants of the study were 30 people. In the studied group, there are no significant changes in emotional states in response to the opera “La Traviata”. In turn, the opera “The Barber of Seville” has no effect on a positive emotional state. Instead, it caused a statistically significant change in the level of negative emotional states. The results of this study are largely consistent with the results of other studies examining the relationship between music and mood, but there are also limitations – only two pieces of opera music were used and no control group was included. Research has shown that opera, as a specific musical genre, despite its peculiar form, affects mood and emotions.
Article
This study took popular music from the Top 30 charts and, in a pretest, evaluated its energy and joyfulness as musical qualities. The findings were used to create sets of musical selections that were either low or high in these qualities. In the experiment proper, respondents were placed in states of bad, neutral, or good moods and then, in an ostensibly independent study, provided the opportunity to freely choose from the sets of musical selections. The selections were offered by computer software that recorded individual exposure times by selection. To ensure selectivity, exposure time was limited to about one third of the total running time of all available selections. Consistent with predictions from mood-management theory, respondents in bad moods elected to listen to highly energetic-joyful music for longer periods than did respondents in good moods. Respondents in bad moods, moreover, were more decisive in exercising their musical preferences. Following the listening period, respondents' moods did not appreciably differ across the experimental mood conditions.
Article
Two correlational studies were conducted to explore the relationship between the Attributional Style Questionnaire (ASQ; Peterson et al., 1982) and broad measures of personality in volunteer (N = 200) and occupational (N = 100) samples. In both samples, principal component analyses of the ASQ provided evidence for an independence of (a) positive and negative attributional style (AS); (b) positive AS for affiliative and achievement-related situations; and (c) internality and stability/globality, especially for negative AS. Positive AS scales tended to correlate negatively, and negative AS scales positively, with trait anxiety, as measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI; Spielberger, Gorsuch, Lushene, Vagg, & Jacobs, 1983); ASQ correlations with the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ; Eysenck & Eysenck, 1975) scales suggested that positive AS shared little variance with broad measures of personality, but negative AS seemed to reflect general dysphoria (low extraversion, high neuroticism, and high psychoticism). The implications of these findings for structure, validity, and scoring of the ASQ are discussed.
Article
Several exploratory factor-analytic studies of the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI; Beck, Epstein, Brown, & Steer, 1988) have reported two, four, and five factors. This study evaluated the fit of four competing models to data provided by a sample of 350 undergraduates. Results of the initial confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) provided strong support for the fit of the four-factor oblique model. Next, we respecified the four-factor model as a single second-order BAI. Results showed that the second-order model also provided adequate fit to the data. Evidence also supported the psychometric indices of reliability and convergent validity. Finally, we examined the relation of the BAI to several demographic variables. Limitations of the study are discussed. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Article
This study took popular music from the Top 30 charts and, in a pretest, evaluated its energy and joyfulness as musical qualities. The findings were used to create sets of musical selections that were either low or high in these qualities. In the experiment proper, respondents were placed in states of bad, neutral, or good moods and then, in an ostensibly independent study, provided the opportunity to freely choose from the sets of musical selections. The selections were offered by computer software that recorded individual exposure times by selection. To ensure selectivity, exposure time was limited to about one third of the total running time of all available selections. Consistent with predictions from mood-management theory, respondents in bad moods elected to listen to highly energetic-joyful music for longer periods than did respondents in good moods. Respondents in bad moods, moreover, were more decisive in exercising their musical preferences. Following the listening period, respondents' moods did not appreciably differ across the experimental mood conditions.
Article
Thesis (M.S.)--University of South Alabama, 1999. Reference list: leaves 42-45. Abstract: leaf vi. Vita: leaf 47. Thesis approved: 1999. Chair of Thesis Committee: Elise Labbe', Ph. D. Typescript (photocopy)
Article
Several exploratory factor-analytic studies of the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI; Beck, Epstein, Brown, & Steer, 1988) have reported two, four, and five factors. This study evaluated the fit of four competing models to data provided by a sample of 350 undergraduates. Results of the initial confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) provided strong support for the fit of the four-factor oblique model. Next, we respecified the four-factor model as a single second-order BAI. Results showed that the second-order model also provided adequate fit to the data. Evidence also supported the psychometric indices of reliability and convergent validity. Finally, we examined the relation of the BAI to several demographic variables. Limitations of the study are discussed.
Article
This study investigated the utility of the PK scale of the MMPI-2 with college students. Results indicated that the PK scale, when combined with DSM IV criteria, does discriminate between college students who obtain a score of 65 or higher and those who score below 65.