Current Psychology

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 328-345

First online:

Music for the Seasons: Seasonal Music Preferences in College Students

  • Terry F. PettijohnIIAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Coastal Carolina University Email author 
  • , Greg M. WilliamsAffiliated withUniversity at Buffalo, The State University of New York
  • , Tiffany C. CarterAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Coastal Carolina University

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The present research examined music preferences in relation to the seasons: fall, winter, spring, and summer. Across two studies, male and female college students (N = 232 and 199) were primed to think about the seasons and indicate their music preference from Rentfrow and Gosling’s (2003) music classification scheme. Participants were predicted to prefer reflexive and complex music when primed with fall/winter and energetic and rhythmic and upbeat and conventional music when primed with spring/summer. Study 1 had participants read winter or summer season scenarios and Study 2 had participants write their own fall, winter, spring, or summer seasonal experiences. Overall, results were consistent with predictions for the reflexive and complex and energetic and rhythmic classifications, indicating an environmental influence of musical preferences.


Music Musical preferences Environment Seasons