Easy listening music increases people's willingness to hurt others

Easy listening music increases people's willingness to hurt others
24 Feb
2017

Easy listening and upbeat music may have a hidden dark side, new research has suggested.

Scientists have found that listening to happy music can increase people's willingness to hurt other people and bend what they deem morally acceptable.

They say the findings reveal just how powerful music can be when it comes to influencing our behaviour.

In a series of tests, volunteers were asked to do the researchers a favour by telling a student they could not take part in work they needed to do in order to complete their course.

When James Brown's hit 'I Got You (I Feel Good)' or Mozart's 'A Little Night Music' were playing the background, the volunteers were more likely to agree.

It contrasts with the idea that aggressive music like metal and rap may encourage violence among its fans, instead suggesting upbeat music is also a risk.

Dr Naomi Ziv, a psychologist at the College of Management Academic Studies in Rishon LeZion, Israel, who led the study, said upbeat music seems to make people more accepting of what they are told or being asked to do, even if it goes against their morals.

She warns the effect could be exploited by politicians or radical groups hoping to spread messages of hate or encourage people to harm others.

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