The effect of music and lyrics on personality.
- ISSN: 1931390X
- DOI: 10.1037/a0022313
An experiment tested whether music can produce significant changes in the experience of ones own personality traits under laboratory conditions. Participants were 87 first-year undergraduates at a large Canadian university (58 women and 29 men; mean age 18.3 years). After completing a set of questionnaires including the Big Five Inventory, they were divided into 3 groups: the music-and-lyrics group listened to a classical song while reading the English translation of lyrics, the music-only group listened to a classical song and followed along the text of lyrics in German, and the lyrics-only group listened to the English translation of the lyrics, while following its text as well. Participants were then readministered the Big Five Inventory within another set of questionnaires. The results show that music produced significant increases, and lyrics significant decreases, in the short-term self-reported experience of change of ones personality traits.