Who runs the world? Tech.


How do song lyrics influence behavior? Prime Behavior for good and bad

As I write this article, I’m listening to the new Black Eyed Peas song, ‘I Gotta Feeling’, which begins with the lyrics:

“I have to feel that tonight is going to be a good night,

tonight is going to be a good night

tonight is going to be a good, good night.”

The song makes me feel optimistic, gives me energy and gives me hope. This raises the question, How do the lyrics of music prepare the mind to receive and interpret information?

Words can affect behavior without knowing it

Hundreds of studies have shown that words powerfully influence thought, behavior, and mood, and much of this occurs without awareness. Favorite songs are heard over and over hundreds or thousands of times, so it makes sense to speculate that song lyrics can have a profound impact on a listener’s perception of the world, of other people, and what emotions are felt. they experience, as well as their frequency. those emotions

Most of the mind functions outside of awareness

In psychology, researchers are beginning to understand the importance of how the mind works beyond conscious experience. Awareness is simply the starting point when exploring the mind. There is now considerable agreement among neuroscientists that most cognitive processing takes place out of consciousness. Approximately 90-95% of mental activity occurs outside of awareness. Much of this ‘back office’ activity is automatic and emotional. Much of this activity takes place just below the level of our consciousness.

Subconscious activity affects daily behavior

Despite the lack of awareness, Subconscious activity has a tremendous impact on how the world is perceived through the senses, everyday behaviors, felt emotions, and life satisfaction. For example, numerous studies have been conducted on the phenomenon known as priming. Priming is when a person is exposed to a certain stimulus, such as words, letters or the environment, and his subconscious mind is activated. Once activated, the person tends to act in a manner consistent with the stimulus without realizing why he is behaving that way. Priming has been shown to influence behavior dramatically.

Example of the simplicity of a psychological readiness study

Let me explain these types of studies by way of example. Imagine that he volunteered for the following experiment: a researcher gives him four jumbled sentences and tells him to go find it when he’s finished unscrambling them (so that the sentences make sense). There is an extra word in each sentence that does not need to be used. For example, you might be presented with something like… “your interruption often annoys them.” As a subject, he would translate this mess into something meaningful like … ‘she’s usually interrupted’ or ‘she’s usually annoyed.’ A few minutes later, she finishes the task of unscrambling the four sentences and walks down the hall to find the investigator. You find her but she’s in the middle of a conversation with a stranger and doesn’t pay attention to you. What do you do? For those people who cracked sentences that contained one word per sentence that had to do with rude behavior, such as “reckless”, “aggressive”, “annoying”, and “nosy”, are much more likely to interrupt the researcher within 2 minutes and say: ‘Hey, I’m done. What’s next?’

Priming can make people ruder or more subservient

On the other hand, if you unscramble sentences in which a rude word was interchanged with a polite word like “respect,” “nice,” or “polite,” chances are you’ll sit passively for the duration. up to 10 minutes until the researcher finishes her conversation. And you will have no idea what influenced you to be so docile.

Priming can make people act older and more forgetful

These experiments have been replicated over and over again. In one experiment, a group of people simply read a list of words where some of the words had to do with stereotypes of older people, such as ‘retirement’, ‘Florida’ and ‘bald’. Sure enough, the participants who were ‘primed’ with words related to the elderly instantly began to act in accordance with the stereotype of the elderly. They walked down the hall more slowly, walked with slightly more hunched shoulders, and had worse short-term memory than the control group. Merely reading the list of words related to old age caused forgetfulness and other behavioral changes. The scary thing about these experiments is that the group was given the words related to stereotypes of the elderly. couldn’t remember any words about the elders in the original word list. So they were influenced by the words and then they forgot what it was that influenced them. All of this groundwork brings me to the latest research, which was published on June 25, 2009, and shows that song lyrics have primal behavior as well. When asked to fill in the missing song lyrics for different songs, the participants’ behaviors and attitudes initially changed.

Patriotic songs make people more closed and prejudiced

Donald Saucier of Kansas State University found that when people completed the lyrics to patriotic songs, such as “The Star-Spangled Banner,” they became more closed off, judgmental, and less empathetic. They did not put themselves in someone else’s shoes to see the world with different eyes.

Nursery rhymes lead to greater acceptance and empathy

Additionally, when people completed the lyrics to songs like ‘The Itsy Bitsy Spider’, they became more prosocial, reporting more accepting attitudes towards other people and more empathy. The hypothesis is that this is due to the strong association that most people have with such nursery rhymes with happiness or contentment in their own childhood. In conclusion, musical lyrics have an impact on attitudes towards others, emotions felt and how often they are experienced, and how the world is perceived. Given the research, it makes sense to take a close look at the lyrics of songs you listen to frequently. They may be affecting you more than you ever realized.

To this end, I’ve created a list of over 600 songs that support and increase prosocial behaviors based on the latest positive psychology findings available for free at www.guidetoself.com in the Articles section.


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