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Two types of peak emotional responses to music: The psychophysiology of chills and tears

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

People sometimes experience a strong emotional response to artworks. Previous studies have demonstrated that the peak emotional experience of chills (goose bumps or shivers) when listening to music involves psychophysiological arousal and a rewarding effect. However, many aspects of peak emotion are still not understood. The current research takes a new perspective of peak emotional response of tears (weeping, lump in the throat). A psychophysiological experiment showed that self-reported chills increased electrodermal activity and subjective arousal whereas tears produced slow respiration during heartbeat acceleration, although both chills and tears induced pleasure and deep breathing. A song that induced chills was perceived as being both happy and sad whereas a song that induced tears was perceived as sad. A tear-eliciting song was perceived as calmer than a chill-eliciting song. These results show that tears involve pleasure from sadness and that they are psychophysiologically calming; thus, psychophysiological responses permit the distinction between chills and tears. Because tears may have a cathartic effect, the functional significance of chills and tears seems to be different. We believe that the distinction of two types of peak emotions is theoretically relevant and further study of tears would contribute to more understanding of human peak emotional response.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Mean real-time valence ratings and physiological measures for self-selected songs and experimenter-selected songs for the chills and tears peak emotion groups.The left-hand figure shows the overall mean responses. Error bars represent standard error of the mean. The right-hand figure shows the 30 s around the peak onset responses. Lines indicate the mean with the corresponding standard error of the mean. Regions surrounded by the vertical red lines indicate significant differences zones (p < 0.05). Note. Self = self-selected song, Experimenter = experimenter-selected song, HR = heart rate, RR = respiration rate, RD = respiration depth, SCL = skin conductance level, SCR = skin conductance response.
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f1: Mean real-time valence ratings and physiological measures for self-selected songs and experimenter-selected songs for the chills and tears peak emotion groups.The left-hand figure shows the overall mean responses. Error bars represent standard error of the mean. The right-hand figure shows the 30 s around the peak onset responses. Lines indicate the mean with the corresponding standard error of the mean. Regions surrounded by the vertical red lines indicate significant differences zones (p < 0.05). Note. Self = self-selected song, Experimenter = experimenter-selected song, HR = heart rate, RR = respiration rate, RD = respiration depth, SCL = skin conductance level, SCR = skin conductance response.

Mentions: Figure 1 (left) shows the overall responses of real-time valence, HR, RR, respiration depth (RD), and skin conductance level (SCL) in response to self-selected songs and experimenter-selected songs separately for the chills and tears groups. Table 3 (left) summarises the results of the two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) for each of the above variables. Table 3 (right) summarises the tests of significant deviation from the neutral score of the valence rating and baseline of physiological reactivity. The two-way ANOVAs revealed a main effect of song condition on real-time valence, HR, RD, and SCL. All of the main effects showed that self-selected songs were higher for the above variables than experimenter-selected songs, irrelevant of the group. A one-sample t-test revealed that real-time valence was higher than neutral for both song conditions in both groups. The HR increased from baseline only for self-selected songs in the tears group. The RD increased from baseline for self-selected songs in both groups, whereas SCL decreased from baseline for experimenter-selected songs in both groups. Moreover, RR increased from baseline for both song conditions in both groups.


Two types of peak emotional responses to music: The psychophysiology of chills and tears
Mean real-time valence ratings and physiological measures for self-selected songs and experimenter-selected songs for the chills and tears peak emotion groups.The left-hand figure shows the overall mean responses. Error bars represent standard error of the mean. The right-hand figure shows the 30 s around the peak onset responses. Lines indicate the mean with the corresponding standard error of the mean. Regions surrounded by the vertical red lines indicate significant differences zones (p < 0.05). Note. Self = self-selected song, Experimenter = experimenter-selected song, HR = heart rate, RR = respiration rate, RD = respiration depth, SCL = skin conductance level, SCR = skin conductance response.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5384201&req=5

f1: Mean real-time valence ratings and physiological measures for self-selected songs and experimenter-selected songs for the chills and tears peak emotion groups.The left-hand figure shows the overall mean responses. Error bars represent standard error of the mean. The right-hand figure shows the 30 s around the peak onset responses. Lines indicate the mean with the corresponding standard error of the mean. Regions surrounded by the vertical red lines indicate significant differences zones (p < 0.05). Note. Self = self-selected song, Experimenter = experimenter-selected song, HR = heart rate, RR = respiration rate, RD = respiration depth, SCL = skin conductance level, SCR = skin conductance response.
Mentions: Figure 1 (left) shows the overall responses of real-time valence, HR, RR, respiration depth (RD), and skin conductance level (SCL) in response to self-selected songs and experimenter-selected songs separately for the chills and tears groups. Table 3 (left) summarises the results of the two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) for each of the above variables. Table 3 (right) summarises the tests of significant deviation from the neutral score of the valence rating and baseline of physiological reactivity. The two-way ANOVAs revealed a main effect of song condition on real-time valence, HR, RD, and SCL. All of the main effects showed that self-selected songs were higher for the above variables than experimenter-selected songs, irrelevant of the group. A one-sample t-test revealed that real-time valence was higher than neutral for both song conditions in both groups. The HR increased from baseline only for self-selected songs in the tears group. The RD increased from baseline for self-selected songs in both groups, whereas SCL decreased from baseline for experimenter-selected songs in both groups. Moreover, RR increased from baseline for both song conditions in both groups.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

People sometimes experience a strong emotional response to artworks. Previous studies have demonstrated that the peak emotional experience of chills (goose bumps or shivers) when listening to music involves psychophysiological arousal and a rewarding effect. However, many aspects of peak emotion are still not understood. The current research takes a new perspective of peak emotional response of tears (weeping, lump in the throat). A psychophysiological experiment showed that self-reported chills increased electrodermal activity and subjective arousal whereas tears produced slow respiration during heartbeat acceleration, although both chills and tears induced pleasure and deep breathing. A song that induced chills was perceived as being both happy and sad whereas a song that induced tears was perceived as sad. A tear-eliciting song was perceived as calmer than a chill-eliciting song. These results show that tears involve pleasure from sadness and that they are psychophysiologically calming; thus, psychophysiological responses permit the distinction between chills and tears. Because tears may have a cathartic effect, the functional significance of chills and tears seems to be different. We believe that the distinction of two types of peak emotions is theoretically relevant and further study of tears would contribute to more understanding of human peak emotional response.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus