Published Dec 09, 2010Everyone responds to music differently -- how else can we explain the fact that Celine Dion is one of the best-selling artists in the world? A new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina aims to explore the different ways people respond to music, focusing on why only some listeners experience chills or goosebumps when listening to music.
The study is titled "Shivers and Timbres: Personality and the Experience of Chills from Music," and can be read online here. According to researchers Emily Nusbaum and Paul Silvia, a music fan's preferred genre had no impact on whether or not they experienced the chills. In fact, the music itself was a less important factor than the listener's personality.
A person's openness to emotion and enjoyment was the main factor to determine who got the chills. This sense of openness also influenced the types of music a person enjoyed, although music preference was found to be only a minor factor.
What does this mean for music fans? Well, the next time you're having an argument with your friend about their collection of Nickelback albums, remember that their questionable taste doesn't mean that the music has less of an emotional impact.
You can read the entire 13-page paper over at Sage and check out an abstract here.
Big thanks to The Daily Swarm for the tip.