Toohey, M. J. (2013). Effects of peaceful and angry music, and music enjoyment, on angry thoughts and feelings. Dissertation Abstracts International, 73,

In this study, the effects of peaceful and angry music, and music enjoyment, on angry thoughts and feelings were examined. Anger is a commonly felt emotion that has been found to have many negative consequences. Studies have shown that music can affect mood and that changes in mood are followed by similar changes in thoughts. Therefore, it is possible that listening to music will affect the valence of thinking in response to changes in mood valence. A 3 (music type) x 2 (music enjoyment) x 2 (time) mixed design was used in this study. Sixty participants thought of a previously angering event and then listened to peaceful, angry, or no music while responding to questionnaires to assess their reports of aggressive thoughts (the Word Completion Task), irrationality of thinking (four questions based on the Survey of Personal Beliefs), thoughts of revenge (two questions based on the Anger Rumination Scale), and state anger (the State Anger Scale). It was hypothesized that participants who listened to no music would report fewer angry thoughts and feelings when compared to participants who listened to angry music but more than participants who listened to peaceful music. It was also hypothesized that participants who liked the music or having no music played would report fewer angry thoughts and feelings when compared to participants who disliked the music or having no music played. It was found that participants who listened to angry music reported more anger when compared to participants who listened to peaceful music. There were no other significant differences. Overall, the findings suggest that listening to peaceful music during an anger episode may lead to less anger as compared to listening to angry music. This strategy may help reduce potential conflicts between family members or co-workers by reducing anger levels. At the least, listening to peaceful music may be helpful for a person who is feeling angry and wants to calm down. It would be useful for future studies to play music in various settings, such as incarceration facilities, to see if it will lead to less angry feelings and interactions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)