Listening to self-chosen music regulates induced negative affect for both younger and older adults

Jenny Groarke*, Michael J. Hogan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
217 Downloads (Pure)


The current study evaluated the efficacy of self-chosen music listening for the function of affect regulation comparing effects in younger and older adults. Forty younger (18–30 years, M = 19.75, SD = 2.57, 14 males) and forty older (60–81 years, M = 68.48, SD = 6.07, 21 males) adults visited the laboratory and were randomised to either the intervention (10 minutes of listening to self-chosen music) or the active control condition (10 minutes of listening to an experimenter-chosen radio documentary). Negative affect (NA) was induced in all participants using a speech preparation and mental arithmetic task, followed by the intervention/control condition. Measures of self-reported affect were taken at baseline, post-induction and post-intervention. Controlling for baseline affect and reactivity to the NA induction, in comparison with the active control group the music listening group demonstrated greater reduction in NA. Supporting developmental theories of positive ageing, analyses also found significant main effects for age, with older adults experiencing greater reduction of NA than younger adults, regardless of condition. Results of the current study provide preliminary insights into the effects of self-chosen music on induced NA, however, additional experimental control conditions comparing self-chosen and experimenter-chosen music with self-chosen and experimenter-chosen active controls are needed to fully understand music listening effects for affect regulation.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0218017
Number of pages19
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 06 Jun 2019


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