Megan Dillon

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Edward A, Roth, M.M.

Second Advisor

Dr. David Smith

Third Advisor

Dr. Ben J. Atchison


Music and emotions, social feedback, music preferences, social conformity, music therapy

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The purpose of this research project was to investigate whether social feedback had an effect on individuals’ emotional ratings of and preferences in music. The current study recruited 173 participants and was based on a study by Egermann, Grewe, Kopiez, and Altenmüller (2009a) that surveyed individuals on their reactions to music when presented with falsified social feedback. The research hypothesis was that participants who were exposed to manipulated social feedback would report emotional ratings and preferences more closely aligned with the social feedback than when not exposed to the feedback. Results showed significant differences in participants’ reported ratings of music on a scale of depressing vs. uplifting and a star rating scale when they were or were not exposed to manipulated feedback for one excerpt, which was “Main Titles” from the soundtrack for the film Chocolat. There were also non-significant trends aligned with the manipulated feedback in some of the other excerpts when participants were exposed to the feedback. Further research with a greater number or participants may have implications in the music therapy field by suggesting that members of music therapy groups are conforming to the opinions of other group members.

Included in

Music Therapy Commons