by Christopher Olver, The Journalist's Resource
May 16, 2011
Criticism of the U.S. entertainment industry often focuses on song lyrics, which some consider crude or violent. Whatever one's opinion, whether such pop culture representations drive behavior or merely reflect public trends is open to question.
A 2011 study in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, "Tuning in to Psychological Change: Linguistics and Emotions over Time in Popular U.S. Song Lyrics," looks at how changes in pop-music lyrics correlated with changes in personality traits and emotions of the public at large. The study analyzed the lyrics of the Top 10 most popular songs in America from 1980 to 2007.
The study’s findings include:
The authors did not test how lyrics affect psychological states among individuals or groups. Instead, they sought to demonstrate that lyrics “changed over time similar to the increases in individualistic traits across the same time period in the U.S.” Therefore, they note, “simply tuning in to the most popular songs on the radio may provide people with increased understanding of their generation’s current psychological characteristics.”
Tags: arts, entertainment
SOURCE: Christopher Olver
VIA: The Journalist's Resource
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