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Evidence from young children regarding emotional responses to music

  • Steven John Holochwost (a1) and Carroll E. Izard (a1)

Juslin & Västfjäll (J&V) propose a theoretical framework of how music may evoke an emotional response. This commentary presents results from a pilot study that employed young children as participants, and measured musically induced emotions through facial expressions. Preliminary findings support certain aspects of the proposed theoretical framework. The implications of these findings on future research employing the proposed framework are discussed.

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P. L. Harris , T. Olthof & M. M. Terwogt (1981) Children's knowledge of emotion. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 22:247–61.

C. E. Izard (1994) Innate and universal facial expressions: Evidence from developmental and cross-cultural research. Psychological Bulletin 115:288–99.

J. B. Morton & S. E. Trehub (2007) Children's judgement of emotion in song. Psychology of Music 35:629–39.

J. A. Sloboda (1991) Music structure and emotional response: Some empirical findings. Psychology of Music 19:110–20.

C. V. Witvliet & S. R. Vrana (2007) Play it again Sam: Repeated exposure to emotionally evocative music polarises liking and smiling responses, and influences other affective reports, facial EMG, and heart rate. Cognition and Emotion 21:325.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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