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Effective In Altering Perceptions Of The World: Music!
For centuries, music has been assumed to have mood-boosting and therapeutic boosting advantages for us. Even sad music brings comfort and pleasure to some and negative feelings of profound grief in others according to recently done research. The results of such studies have helped researchers identify how people’s moods adjust with the aid of music and how they can use music therapy and music rehabilitation to access these processes of enjoyment, relief and comfort. This could be in addition to finding reasons for listening to sad music as well as avoiding it. Researchers have also found that listening to music that is especially sad or happy can give us a different perspective of the world. Mood and music are innately connected and scientists keep revealing the occurrence of these influences at a neural level. Research shows that a wide range of neurobiological systems are engaged by the music we listen to which affects our psychology. For a particular study, test subjects were asked to identify sad or happy smiley icons when listening to sad or happy music. What the subjects perceived was greatly affected by the music in that the subjects thought they recognized a sad smiley while listening to sad music and happy smiley while listening to happy music even when a neutral face without a smiley was shown. This was found to be especially interesting to the researchers involved in the study. Seeing things that are not there is caused by top-down processes in the brain on which conscious perception is highly dependent. The brain keeps comparing the information coming in through your eyes with its expectations of what you know about the world. The conclusive result of the aforementioned comparison process is what people experience as reality and research suggests that the brain tends to build up expectations based on your mood and experience. One study concluded that people tend to listen to sad music when going through a deep interpersonal loss such as a relationship coming to an end. This study’s authors suggested that sad music acted as a substitute for the lost relationship and they compared it to the desire most people have for an empathetic friend who truly understands what you are experiencing. Upbeat music has also been focused on by other research for its role in bringing joy. Another study established that people who listened to upbeat music could boost their happiness and improve their moods in just 2 weeks. The participants in the study were advised to try improving their mood but there were only positive results when they listened to upbeat music as opposed to sad music. A happier mood, of course, has been linked to benefits such as greater relationship satisfaction, higher income and most importantly, better physical health.