Sedative and stimulative music effects: Differential effects on performance impairment following frustration

Abstract

The present report describes three experiments that examined the effects of sedative and stimulative music on performance decrement following frustration. A five-group design was used in the first experiment: No Treatment (NT), Frustration only (F), Frustration and Sedative music (F-SD), Frustration and Stimulative music (F-ST), and Frustration and Waiting (F-W). The second experiment assessed the differences in emotions associated with the two types of music, sedative and stimulative. After listening to each excerpt, subjects were required to report their feelings about each one, on a 15-point Semantic-Differential-type scale. The third experiment employed a three-group design: F-SD, F-ST, and F only. Music was also played during frustration manipulation. Results for the first experiment showed that while frustration plus sedative music reduced decrement in performance as compared with frustration only, stimulative music had no effect. The results of the second experiment showed that sedative music was highly correlated with calmness, tenderness, and contentedness, while stimulative music was related to tension, anger, boldness, and salience. The results of the third experiment were similar to those of Experiment 1 for effects of sedative music. Stimulative music, however, seemed to enhance the decrement in performance following frustration. The results are discussed with regard to the effects of music on performance, and the interaction of emotions and properties of sedative music in reducing the decremental effects of frustration on performance.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Amsel, A. (1972). Behavioral habituation, counter conditioning and a general theory of persistence. In A. H. Black & W. F. Prokasy (Eds.),Classical conditioning II: Current research and theory. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Berlyne, D. E. (1977). Dimensions of perception of exotic and folk music.Scientific Aesthetics, 1 254–270.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Bilder, J. D., Olson, P. J., & Breen, T. (1974). The effect of “happy” versus “sad” music and participation on anxiety.Journal of Music Therapy, 11 68–73.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Borling, J. E. (1981). The effects of sedative music on Alpha rhythms and focused attention in high-creative and low-creative subjects.Journal of Music Therapy, 18 101–108.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Brown, J. S., & Farber, I. E. (1951). Emotions conceptualized as intervening variables — With suggestions toward a theory of frustration.Psychological Bulletin, 48 465–495.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Catania, A. C. (1979).Learning. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Chetta, H. D. (1981). The effects of music and desensitization on preoperative anxiety in children.Journal of Music Therapy, 13 74–87.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Clark, M. E., McCorkle, R. R., & Williams, S. B. (1981). Music therapy-assisted labor and delivery.Journal of Music THerapy, 18 88–100.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Colbert, J. (1960).The effects of musical stimulation on recall in high-low anxiety college students: A comparison of some effects of musical stimulation on the recall of letter configurations and nonsense syllables in high and low anxiety college students (Doctoral dissertation, New York University). Reprinted in Rohner, S. J., & Miller, R. (1980). Degrees of familiar and affective music and their effects on state anxiety.Journal of Music Therapy, 12, 2–15.

  10. Corhan, C. M., & Gounard, B. R. (1975). Types of music, schedules of background stimulation and visual vigilance performance.Perceptual and Motor Skills, 42 662.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Davenport, W. C. (1974). Arousal theory and vigilance: Schedules for background stimulation.Journal of General Psychology, 91 51–59.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Fogelson, S. (1973). Music as a distractor on reading test performance of eighth-grade students.Perceptual and Motor Skills, 36 1265–1266.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Gaffan, E. A., & Keeble, S. (1976). The effect of frustrative nonreward on the attractiveness of the omitted reward.Learning and Motivation, 7 50–65.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Jacobson, H. L. (1956). The effects of sedative music on tension, anxiety, and pain experienced by mental patients during dental procedures.Bulletin of the National Association of Music Therapy, 3 9.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Kaltsounis, B. (1973). Effect of sound on creative performance.Psychological Reports, 33 737–738.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Kregerman, J. L., & Worchel, P. (1961). Arbitrariness of frustration and aggression.Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 63 183–187.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Landreth, J. E., & Landreth, H. F. (1974). Effects of music on physiological response.Journal of Research in Music Education, 22 4–12.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Marko, J. (1977). On the concept of frustration.Psychologia a Patopsychologia Dietata, 12 29–37.

    Google Scholar 

  19. McFarland, R. A. (1984). Effects of music on emotional content of TAT stories.Journal of Psychology, 116 227–234.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Mowsesian, R., & Heyer, M. R. (1973). The effect of music as a distraction on test-taking performance.Measurement and Evaluation in Guidance, 6 104–110.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Nielzen, S., & Cesarec, Z. (1981). On the perception of emotional meaning in music.Psychology of Music, 9 17–31.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Nienson, R. A. (1972). Aggression reactions to frustration in relation to the individual level of extrapunitiveness.Journal of Personality Assessment, 36 50–54.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Osgood, C. E., Suci, G. J., & Tannenbaum, P. H. (1957).The measurement of meaning. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Paretti, P. O. (1975). Changes in galvanic skin response as reflected by musical selection, sex and academic discipline.Journal of Psychology, 89 183–187.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Peretti, P. O., & Swenson, K. (1974). Effects of music on anxiety as determined by physiological skin response.Journal of Research in Music Education, 22 278–283.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Raven, J. C. (1960).Standard progressive matrices. London: Lewis.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Rohner, S. J., & Miller, R. (1980). Degrees of familiar and affective music and their effects on state anxiety.Journal of Music Therapy, 12 2–15.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Rosenzweig, S. (1944). An outline of frustration theory. In J. McV. Hunt (Ed.),Personality and the behavior disorders. New York: Ronald Press.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Rosenzweig, S., & Adelman, S. (1977). Construct validity of the Rosenzweig picture-frustration test.Journal of Personality Assessment, 41 578–588.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Rule, B. G., Dyck, R., & Nesdale, A. R. (1978). Arbitrariness of frustration: Inhibition or instigation effects on aggression.European Journal of Psychology, 8 237–244.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Rule, B. G., & Percival, E. (1971). The effects of frustration and attack on physical aggression.Journal of Experimental Research in Personality, 5 111–118.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Scull, J. W. (1973). The Amsel frustration effect: Interpretation and research.Psychological Bulletin, 79 352–361.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Sears, W. W. (1959). The effects of music on muscle tonus. In E. T. Gaston (Ed.),Music therapy. Lawrence, Kansas: Allen Press.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Shatin, L. (1970). Alteration of mood via music: A study of the vectoring effect.Journal of Psychology, 75 81–86.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Shrift, D. (1954). Galvanic skin responses to two types of music.Bulletin of the National Association for Music Therapy, 4 5.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Simpson, S. A. (1976). The influence of background music on the behavior of brain-injured children.Israel Annals of Psychiatry and Related Disciplines, 14 275–279.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Slaughter, R. E. (1954). The effects of musical stimuli on normal and abnormal subjects as indicated by pupillary reflexes. In M. Bing (Ed.),Music therapy. Lawrence, Kansas: Allen Press.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Smith, C. A., & Morris, L. W. (1976). Effects of stimulative and sedative music on cognitive and emotional components of anxiety.Psychological Reports, 38 1187–1193.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Smith, C. A., & Morris, L. W. (1977). Differential effects of stimulative and sedative music on anxiety, concentration, and performance,Psychological Reports, 41 1047–1053.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Sopchak, A. L. (1955). Individual differences in responses to different types of music in relation to sex, mood and other variables.Psychological Monographs, 69 (Whole No. 369).

  41. Stainbach, S. B., Stainbach, W. C., & Hallahan, D. P. (1973). Effects of background music on learning.Exceptional Children, 40 109–110.

    Google Scholar 

  42. Stanton, H. E. (1973). The effects of music on test anxiety.Australian Psychologist, 8 220–228.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Stanton, H. E. (1975). Music and test anxiety: Further evidence for an interaction.British Journal of Educational Psychology, 45 80–82.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Stoudenmire, J. (1975). A comparison of muscle relaxation training and music in the reduction of state and trait anxiety.Journal of Clinical Psychology, 31 490–492.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Traub, C. (1969). The relation of music to speech of low verbalized subjects in a music listening activity.Journal of Music Therapy, 6 105–107.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Webster, C. (1973). Relaxation music and cardiology: The physiological and psychological consequences of their interaction.Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 20 9–20.

    Google Scholar 

  47. Williams, J. R., & Geison, S. C. (1979). A frustration effect with adults humans?Motivation and Emotion, 3 117–127.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Williams, T. B. (1961). A study of the effect of music as a distractor on the mental test performance of certain eleventh grade students.Dissertation Abstracts, 22 168.

    Google Scholar 

  49. Zimny, G. H., & Weidenfeller, E. W. (1962). Effects of music upon GSR of children.Child Development, 33 891–896.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Tamir Caspy or Joel Goldberg.

Additional information

The authors wish to express their gratitude to Robi for his help at various stages of conducting the research, to Amos Pickholz and Shlomo Yemini in data management, to Dov Har-Even for his aid in the data analyses, and to David Malkiel, Mimi, and Miriam Mishory for their valuable comments on earlier versions of the present manuscript.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Caspy, T., Peleg, E., Schlam, D. et al. Sedative and stimulative music effects: Differential effects on performance impairment following frustration. Motiv Emot 12, 123–138 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00992169

Download citation

Keywords

  • Social Psychology
  • Differential Effect
  • Present Report
  • Performance Impairment
  • Performance Decrement