Hello hello hello and welcome back to another instalment of psychology 101. In my last article I received some complaints *cough* Mr. Chris *cough* about how my article was very uninformative and was clearly just my attempt to quickly put something together before the due date (to be fair he was 102% correct). This time though I will write the best article anyone has ever seen! (Actually that’s setting a pretty high bar … so let’s just say my article will actually be a proper article this time.)
So what am I going to talk about today? Music! (Could you guess from the super obnoxious title?)
Firstly: why do people enjoy music?
This is actually a widely debated question! Apparently psychologists have yet to find a centre in the brain that is dedicated to music. (Interesting enough though I learnt just yesterday that our brain sections don’t necessarily work in isolation – so maybe there isn’t even one section, but multiple musically inclined sections!)
However what psychologists do know is that when listening to music our brain releases a hormone called dopamine – the happy hormone 🙂
But that still doesn’t really answer the question why music makes us happy and I’m sorry about that. This is a really hard question to answer if you were a professional psychologist, so think about how hard it must be for me!
I did find a theory though by Leonard Meyer which suggested that music makes us happy because we love to be able to predict the sounds, patterns, flows and lyrics of a song, and when predict them successfully we’re happy!
I mean it’s sounds weird but it does make a lot of sense to me . I love being right in general but I especially love it when I’m listening to a song and I know the exact timing of when the drums start or when I know all the words to a super hard rap. However, sometimes I hear a song for the first time – and don’t know any of the words or the rhythm yet – and I still love it! So I’m not sure how accurate the theory is but it’s an intriguing concept.
If all music creates the ~ happy hormone ~ why do some people enjoy different music than others?
This can be contributed to a number of factors! Your music taste could depend on your culture, it could depend on whether you like keeping up with trends, it could depend on what you’re parents listened to when you were growing up but all and all different music tastes are just like anything else. Some people prefer spy movies, some people prefer books about dogs and other people prefer rock music over country! Why does anyone like anything really??
Also! Apparently you’re music taste doesn’t really change much when you’re older and actually what you like as a teenager will probably be what you like as an adult. (This is great for older siblings because you can convince your younger brothers or sisters into liking your music taste! And if they like your music then no one minds when you pick the songs for road trips and you can be forever in charge of the songs. Trust me I know from experience 😉 )
But does listening to certain genre of music ~ such as classical ~ make you any smarter?
No, my friends it does not! Though loads of people have claimed it does there isn’t actually any psychological evidence. In my opinion people who say they’re smarter because of their music taste just want to feel superior because they listen to classical music 😉 (in reality they’re probably just snobs) (not that I’m hating on classical music or classical music lovers…or snobs..I’m just…trying to make a point?)
So that’s it for today! I’m going to end this with a nice note and say keep listening to whatever music makes you happy 🙂 (and also trick your siblings into listening to your music) see you next time!!