Date of Submission
Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
2019 Andrew M. B. Segre
This paper explores the effect music has on inducing an emotion that impacts a person’s perception of facial expressions through two experiments. Previous research suggests that music has a significant impact on a person’s mood and a vast amount of research has been conducted analyzing facial perception. Extending previous literature, this study will investigate how the impact music has on a person’s mood can affect the way a person perceives the facial expression of another. Experiment 1 uses the anchor effect to highlight the ability music has to anchor a person’s mood powerfully enough to influence that person’s perception of a given facial expression. Experiment 1 will use 96 Caucasian college students to test the independent variable of music to measure the effect it has to alter the subject’s perception of facial expressions on a facial continuum. Each of the three subject groups (happy-music, sad-music, no-music) will complete a categorical facial perception task. The results will be consistent with previous literature and show that both happy and sad music impact the subject’s perception of facial expressions relative to the no-music group. Experiment 2 analyzes the influence that the other-race effect has on impacting the results demonstrated in Experiment 1. Experiment 2 will use 192 Caucasian college students to test the independent variables of music and race of faces perceived (own-race, other-race) to measure the effect they have on altering the subject’s perception of facial expressions on a facial continuum. The results will validate Experiment 1 by showing that both happy and sad music impact the subject’s perception of facial expressions relative to the no-music group regardless of whether the perceived faces were own-race or other-race. The results will also show no statistically significant interaction between the music condition and the race of face perceived condition, however slight increases in the impact of music were observed.
Segre, Andrew, "Impact of Music on Categorical Facial Perceptions" (2019). CMC Senior Theses. 2318.