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Durham e-Theses
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Affective Priming with Music: Cognitive, Psychoacoustic and Cultural Perspectives

ARMITAGE, JAMES,EDWARD (2024) Affective Priming with Music: Cognitive, Psychoacoustic and Cultural Perspectives. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis explores the concept of affective priming with music: when we hear a
musical sound just before being presented with a second stimulus, such as a word
or image, the sound influences our affective judgements about the second stimulus.
For instance, in a word classification task in which words are classed as positive or
negative, words are typically classified more quickly when preceded by a sound that
has the same valence (e.g., a positive word is classified faster when preceded by a
positive sound compared to a negative sound). This thesis considers how cognition,
psychoacoustics and culture influence affective priming. Firstly, the thesis considers which dimension of emotion, valence or arousal, is transferred during priming.
It then addresses how attention and affect interact in priming by considering the
relationship between trait anxiety and affective priming. The results suggest that
priming is the consequence of the interaction of top-down and bottom-up processes:
primes engage attentional resources in a bottom-up process that conflicts with responses to the top-down word classification task. Chapter 8 considers whether stimulus features, namely harmonicity and roughness, influence priming. Harmonicity
was not found to influence affective priming, whereas roughness was found to be
a contributing factor to priming. Finally, the thesis compares results in priming
and rating tasks for Western participants and Lithuanian Sutartinės singers. Whilst
culture influences participants’ ratings of musical stimuli, automatic evaluations,
indexed by results of a priming task, are not influenced by culture. Combining the
findings from Chapters 6 to 9, it is argued that affective priming is governed by the
ability of the prime to demand allocation of attentional resources away from the
target. Stimulus features which may contribute to the bottom-up process include
acoustic roughness and the summation of musical features such as tempo, rhythm,
dynamics and timbre

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Music Cognition, Affective Priming, Music Emotion
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Music, Department of
Thesis Date:2024
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:07 Jun 2024 10:07

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