Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Music, Happy Faces

Here's an interesting study that shows listening to cheerful music makes people think others look happier. The Telegraph reports:

In the tests, the volunteers listened to 15 second clips of music and their reactions to photographs of a variety of faces were recorded.

Results showed that happy music "significantly enhanced the perceived happiness of a face." Further studies of the volunteers' brain waves revealed that the effect of the music was almost instantaneous. It took just 50 milliseconds for changes to take place – too fast to be under our conscious control.

Similarly, listening to depressing music made sad faces appear more miserable.

It's pretty intuitive. I think of Christmas when we're inundated with cheerful carols and it really does seem everybody is happier. I do think it's remarkable how quickly the volunteers responded to the music and how the study seems to demonstrate that the changes in perception happen subconsciously.

It tells me that we have a lot more control over our emotions than we think, we can choose how we want to feel toward others just by choosing the right music! Time to look through my CD library.

1 comment:

Owen said...

And now, the power of positive listening. Life is good.