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A Framework of Distinct Musical Chills: Theoretical, Causal, and Conceptual Evidence

BANNISTER, SCOTT,CRAIG (2020) A Framework of Distinct Musical Chills: Theoretical, Causal, and Conceptual Evidence. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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The phenomenon of musical chills has attracted extensive attention in previous music and emotion research, correlating the experience with musical structure, psychoacoustics parameters, individual differences in listeners, and the listening situation. However, there are three crucial limitations in the literature: 1) The emotional characteristics of musical chills have not been explored, and are poorly understood; 2) musical chills have never been causally manipulated, and no theories have been tested; and 3) it is unclear whether chills are a unified psychological construct, or a set of distinct experiences, distinguished at the levels of subjective feeling, psychophysiological response, individual differences, and underlying psychological induction mechanisms. Across five studies, ranging from qualitative surveys to experimental manipulations of musical chills, these limitations were addressed in the current thesis, with results suggesting firstly that musical chills are often mixed emotional experiences, described as moving, bittersweet and intense; secondly, that musical chills can be manipulated, and corresponding theories tested, with a novel experimental paradigm, by removing key sections in a piece or changing psychoacoustic parameters such as loudness and brightness; finally, that there are likely distinct types of chills experiences, which across multimedia are linked to both the affective dimension of valence and individual differences such as trait empathy, and with music through mechanisms of fear and vigilance on the one hand, and social bonding on the other. The studies and results are discussed in terms of two categories of musical chills experiences, culminating in a preliminary Distinct Musical Chills Framework, producing a series of testable hypotheses for future empirical work, and a comprehensive research agenda for the field moving forward.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Music, Chills, Emotion, Psychology, Psychophysiology
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Music, Department of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:03 Jun 2020 12:39

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