Can Music Affect An Individuals Behavior Psychology Essay

“My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require.” (Elgar, 1998-2010). At present, that aphorism is nothing but true and heartfelt. In this world bursting with myriad cultures, the influence of music is akin to a global phenomenon. As the saying goes, different strokes for different folks? Suffice to say, different people have diverse ways of manipulation of music in order to suit their preferences. Being homo-sapiens living in a techno-bounded world, we are exposed to various forms of music from a wide array of sources. For instance, music is audible through speakers of the plasma televisions, a choir performance, computer games, if not just the everyday-life stereo radio. In view of that, the study of how music affects us both positively and adversely is important. By knowing the advantages and disadvantages that music can bring us enable us to utilize music safely, extensively and successfully. A survey on my topic “Effects of Music” was conducted throughout the investigation of my study on 30 people of different age ranges. They are of different groups of people who have different judgments on how music could affect an individual in today’s world.

Music could certainly give an impact on an individual’s emotional level and result in an effect on the ability of his or her brain to store and recall information. It is proven by the scientists that by listening to or playing music, an individual’s brain could be altered and hence, the functions of our bodies. On the other hand, music aid for positive change in emotional states that will affect an individual’s recovery from illness. In the medical world, a report published shows that the healing effects of patients could be increased by the aid of music. We know that, Cortisol and adrenaline are two “stress” hormones that are secreted by the adrenal glands in response to Synacthen test. In one trial, patients who had just received information about their needs for operations were tested for blood Cortisol concentrations after listening to a piece of soothing music, chosen by each patient during a consultation of music therapy; Cortisol levels were reduced 50% compared to the control group that did not hear listen any music. As there were effects on the Cortisol levels, it is hence obvious that emotions would be highly affected if a patient were to listen to sentimental music before an imminent surgery. Therefore, the extraordinary ability that music has influenced and manipulated the emotions and the brain is undeniable, and yet most can not be explicated.

Harmony, rhythm, lyrics, melody, timbre and pitch are the musical elements that can together create a strong and profound emotional reaction. Studies have shown that various types of music can have different effects on mood. Grunge rock, for example, can increase hostility, tension and anxiety. Country music can cause a depression whereas classic has the strength to uplift an individual. For instance, the music band REM’s Shiny Happy People can energize with its quick tempo, lively beat and bright tonal colours. On the other hand, Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik can relax an individual with its slow, smooth flowing rhythms and even heart pulse. Taking all these factors into account it would seem that the tempo of music can directly affect an individual’s mood positively.

By learning music, one’s communication skills which are essential to our daily life can be strengthen. From my research, music therapist has also proven that music therapy provides a drug-free-way to set the mood in people with depression or foster socialization in those with limited means of communication. Not only that, it could force languages as they sing, and it would improve the communication skills and hence much easier for an individual to communicate with others. In a result, an individual could express his needs, resulting in an easier life for people to communicate with him.

Students of all ages have often claimed that they can study and learn more effectively when listening to music. Indeed, several researchers have examined the possibility of transfer of cognitive skills to other curriculum areas to theorize that exposure to music can facilitate nonmusical learning. However, a strong research base for this claim seems to be lacking. From an online source, Wolf and Weiner (1972) reported that there was a statistically significant difference between the condition with music turned on and the in a silence condition on arithmetic test results. However, they attributed this difference to familiarization trial because most subjects reported that they listened to “hard rock” music when they studied. On the other hand, Moller (1980) also found no significant differences in the mathematics test between groups affected by background noises or music and silence condition. According to these sources, there were inconsistencies in the evidence due to music which seems to enhance the learning of some individuals but also distracting some other people.

Social behaviour is very much of a behaviour which is directed to the society or taken place between members of the same species. Nowadays, the society has been facing problem on the solutions of getting rid of youths who are involved in low level anti-social behaviour. This is said so because research found out that there are youths who having nothing better to do, are hanging around involving themselves into these anti-social behaviour such as swearing, smoking at public areas, harassing or raping. According to a railway station company, they found that these youths are creating intimidating feelings on their passengers because they often seem to look like they might have a violent agenda while loitering around the places. Hence, they ended up coming out with an idea of playing music to help the people there to pass the time while they are waiting for their train. So for the youths who are loitering around were to be exposed to some of the music which they dislike, they will have a strong response to the hostilities and remove themselves from the situation. Taking this factor into account it seems that there are contradictions in the evidence because the youths may involve in the negative behaviours again if the music played were to make them feel motivated on their bad actions.

Research found that some music can stimulate the imagination, create feelings of relaxation and calmness or stimulate the mind. Music such as Western classical music allows one to capture and express their various emotions and experience. Even for those who are not familiar with the sounds of a choir or symphony orchestra can have an emotional feeling to music. The type of music listened by an individual actually directly affects his mood. In this view, every homo sapiens have songs which they can be closely related to, because music can capture the emotion of one’s feeling at that moment. Not only that, it is able to remind an individual on something that has happened in his life. After the research that was carried out, there is no evidence to suggest that music affects an individual adversely.

There is an interesting connection between music and mood because music has been considered as an efficient and effective means for triggering moods. Moreover the elements of music are very much of a reflection of an individual’s condition. Thus, as the elements such as rhythm and pitch changes, it gradually changes our mood as well. Research found out that there is no evidence to prove that music has adverse effects towards an individual.

Communication Skills

Music therapy can enable those who do not have the language to communicate, participate and express themselves non-verbally. Moreover, music therapy also often helps in the development of oral communication, speech and language skills which can evoke and energize an individual emotionally, physically and cognitively in ways that words cannot. Reports found that music could enhance children’s language skills and then improve their communication skills. Therefore, so far there are no evidence seems to suggest that communication skills are negatively affected by music.

Today, the direct effects of exposure to musical sounds during study or academic testing are still receiving very little attention. According to Henderson, Crews, and Barlow (1945), they claim that there was no effect on a vocabulary test that was carried out on a group of students. They were divided into two groups where one with popular music played in the background and the other without. Besides that, a similar study was also carried out on a reading comprehension test, and according to LaBach (1960), there were no effects on the scores as well. Taking all these evidences into account it would seem that there is no significant effects of music on performance of tests.

Songs which contains violent lyrics can lead to aggression related thoughts and emotions. According to researchers from Iowa State University and the Texas Department of Human Services found that music which contains aggressive lyrics increase an individual’s violent thoughts and feelings, which may lead to aggressive behavior and long-term effects. Not only that, researchers from Pittsburgh University found that those who regularly listened to music with X-rated lyrics and aggressive phrases were twice as likely to be having sex than those who do not.

The Use of Music Therapy on Wellness

Research reviews that music therapy is effective in relieving stress and anxiety, promoting relaxation, easing depression, and assist patients cope with illness. Music therapy allows individual who has emotional problems make positive changes in their mood and practice problem solving. This can enhance physical and mental functioning of individuals with neurological or development disturbance.

Stress Relief

Music therapy could reduce everyday stress through active music making like drumming or through passive listening

Therapist for many years has supported that the use of music is an aid for positive change in mood and emotional state. Therefore, it is said that stress can be relieved by music therapy. Stress is a way an individual’s body react to any types of demand. It could be due to the good and bad experience. When an individual listens to sentimental music, the patients will feel more calm and relaxed. Hence, a balance of mind-body is restored by then. In view of that, music therapy is not only for people who are suffered from illness but also healthy people and their stress can be relieved through listening to music.


Music can reduce sympathetic nervous system activity, decrease anxiety, blood pressure, heart and respiratory rate and may have positive effects on sleep via muscle relaxation and distraction from thoughts

Music can reduce sympathetic nervous system activity, decrease respiratory and heart rate, anxiety, blood pressure and may have positive influence on sleep by relaxing the muscle and the disturbance of the mind. Sleep may be affected by the aging process and hence the music therapy to heal insomnia on adults is very important. Research found that music resulted in significantly greater quality of sleep in the experimental group which carried out music therapy, as well as significantly better sleep quality.


Music therapy has been used in the treatment of a variety of mental disorders such as depression

Depression is a strong mood involving sadness, hopelessness, despair that carries on for a period of time in an individual. According to the research, music therapy is able to reduce depression on pregnant women and also to treat all kinds of mental disorders.


In this century, music has been a part of human’s life. This is said so because music is around us at anytime and anywhere. Music has the power of evoking different feelings on homo sapiens and also causing effects on us regardless of whether it is positively or negatively. Hence, it is advised that one must be careful in utilizing music in daily lives. Therefore, parents should be more aware on how their children uses music because results from research shows that children and adolescents are most likely to be influenced more compared to adults. The most reliable sources ( BBC NEWS 2009) suggest that music are linked to teenager’s sex habits. Besides, according to the America Psychology Association, violent lyrics in the music in today’s world may provoke serious violent behaviour. (America Psychology Association 2010) On the positive side, music could highly enhance one’s behaviour too. Based on this evidence stated by the Associated Press Writer named Brandie M. Jefferson, one could say that music therapy do develop an individual’s communication skills as well as motor skills. (Associated Press 2006) Moreover, the most attentive discussion was that music therapy could help women reduce their stress, depression and anxiety during their preganancy. (The Medical’s News 2008) Hence, it leads to a better development on their infants. Now, humans tend to have lack of time to finish their work on hand which will then lead to stressfulness and lastly they will suffer from insomnia. Insomnia are often said to be affecting many aspects of the quality of life and well-being. So, what is the best way to cure insomnia? Based on the research, it shows that music therapy stands a very high percentage to cure insomnia because it is a non-pharmacological treatment. Therefore from all the evidence found on research, it is proven that music gives both negative and positive affect on an individual.

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