Integrating media effects research and music psychology

Document Type

Conference Paper in Published Proceedings


Communications and Media Studies

Publication Date



Although music typically is integral to mass media productions, little research has been conducted on the psychological effects of music in mass communication. Such research is important given the potential power of mass media. The present chapter aims to inspire relevant research by developing a theoretical foundation that integrates media effects, psychology, and musical multimedia. The focus is on individual-level effects, which may occur in a single audience member, a subset of audience members within a larger audience, or plausibly within every individual consuming the content.

This chapter first directs attention to the prevalence of music in mass media, and then briefly describes the discipline of media effects research and its relationship with psychology and musical multimedia. Next, the nature of media effects is defined in more detail, and six antecedents of media effects are outlined. Finally, a selection of prominent theories of media effects illustrates how such theories may be integrated with music psychology to predict effects of music in mediated communication. Such predictions, if tested, could increase knowledge about the role of music in mass media.

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