• Using emotional intelligence and musical training to predict emotion-detection in music: a cross-cultural study

      Jewell, Olivia (2018-05)
      Recently, research in music and emotions has become very popular, and has indicated that individuals can detect emotions in various pieces of music across cultural borders. Additionally, research has explored emotional intelligence and musical training with respect to this skill. However, no previous study has examined if emotional intelligence or musical training is more predictive of one’s ability to perceive an emotion in a piece of music across cultures. The current study seeks to explore this question, by providing participants with musical clips to listen to, and then choose the emotion that they feel fits it the best. The musical clips come from a subset of 36 clips that were used in a pilot study to determine whether individuals can discern an intended emotion in the piece of music. Additionally, participants filled out measures of musical training and emotional intelligence. It was hypothesized that participants who scored higher on emotional intelligence would score higher on measures of emotion-detection, across cultures. A second hypothesis stated that emotional intelligence would be more predictive of emotion-detection than previous musical training or experience. The hypotheses were partially supported, with emotional intelligence being a significant negative predictor of emotion-detection. Cultural variation was only a significant predictor of emotion-detection for our measure of target agreement, but not for our measure of consensus agreement. Overall, the current study sheds light on emotional intelligence, musical training, and music interpretation across cultures.