University of Louisville

Poster Title

The Relationship Between Musical Preference and Amount of Exposure Tested over Different Musical Genres

Institution

University of Louisville

Abstract

Many studies have supported Berlyne's (1971) theory of musical preference, which suggests two inverted-U relationships. First, there is an inverted-U relationship between preference and complexity, where individuals prefer moderate complexity levels and dislike music that is either too simple or too complex based on their musical intelligence. And second, there is an inverted-U relationship between preference and amount of exposure, where an increase found by Zajonc (1968) is followed by a subsequent decrease. The genres of music included in studies on musical preference are limited. No study has explored these inverted-U relationships across a variety of different genres. Nine participants listened to the same cycle of 10 musical excerpts three times a day for 5 consecutive days. Each excerpt belonged to a different musical genre. After each song, participants rated their present preference for the excerpt on a scale of 1 to 7. Five musicians were asked to evaluate the complexity of the excerpts in comparison to each other by categorizing them into one of five complexity levels. Overall, a general invertedU shaped curve, followed by a successive inverted-U shaped curve was found between preference and exposure. No relationship was found between preference and complexity.

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The Relationship Between Musical Preference and Amount of Exposure Tested over Different Musical Genres

Many studies have supported Berlyne's (1971) theory of musical preference, which suggests two inverted-U relationships. First, there is an inverted-U relationship between preference and complexity, where individuals prefer moderate complexity levels and dislike music that is either too simple or too complex based on their musical intelligence. And second, there is an inverted-U relationship between preference and amount of exposure, where an increase found by Zajonc (1968) is followed by a subsequent decrease. The genres of music included in studies on musical preference are limited. No study has explored these inverted-U relationships across a variety of different genres. Nine participants listened to the same cycle of 10 musical excerpts three times a day for 5 consecutive days. Each excerpt belonged to a different musical genre. After each song, participants rated their present preference for the excerpt on a scale of 1 to 7. Five musicians were asked to evaluate the complexity of the excerpts in comparison to each other by categorizing them into one of five complexity levels. Overall, a general invertedU shaped curve, followed by a successive inverted-U shaped curve was found between preference and exposure. No relationship was found between preference and complexity.