ICMPC 12 Day 2: Morning posters part II

The second poster session in the morning of Day 2 was entitled ‘Musical experience and Commuication’ and featured 5 talks that looked at appreciation for music and musical role models as well as positive psychological impacts of musical activities such as dance and karaoke.

I will go through an outline of their presentation combined with information that I gained either from attending the poster or from the abstracts book. Needless to say the ‘Hips don’t lie’ poster was hard to get near on the day! (earworm anyone?)


The first presentation was given by Cynthia Patel (University of KwaZulu-Natal, SA) and considered adolescent girls responses to three songs from three different genres, pop, rap and rock. The pop song was a typical teenage romance ballad while the rock song was a strong affirmative (if lyrically repetitive) tune while the rap was considered oppressive and maybe even offensive to women. The authors tried an interesting manipulation; gague responses on a positive-negative continuum of 15 bipolar adjectives across three different formats: Audio only, music video or written lyrics.

They found no difference in ratings for the pop song , which was most positively rated overall. By contrast the rock and pop songs received much more negative ratings. Interestingly there was a significant worsening of opinion when the girls actually read the lyrics, which might indicate a lack of attention to the meaning of verbal content in a musical context.

The second presentation was by Antonia Ivaldi (Aberystwych, UK) who has continued her PhD work looking at adolescent musical role models. In the present study she had looked at the responses of young talented musicians to work out who they admired and why, and how these responses differed from the larger population.

My hero – John Williams

The music students identified far more non-famous figures, such as teachers and lesser known classical music performers. Their reasons for admiring these people also differed from the general population as the student showed higher attainability aspiration, meaning they admired these people as they thought they could emulate their ability and good qualities one day.

The third presentation was by Caroline Cohrdes (Hannover, Germany) who was interested in how adolescents evaluate music with regards to their social identity. The study aimed to determine how distinctiveness of a music performer of their ‘typicality’ (on a continuum from conventional to unconventional) influenced the way they were viewed by the participants.

She aimed to come up with a standardised instrument to measure the optimal level of distinctiveness in a pop musician that impresses on adolescents. She identified two dimensions that were crucial to this instrument; 11 indicators on the typicality of the music (relates to the song) and 5 indicators on the typicality of the artist image (what they know about the person through the media) I did not get to the poster to learn more exact details but I am sure she would be happy to chat to you if you would like to hear more!

The fourth presentation was by Junko Matsumoto (Nagano, Japan) who presented a poster on the reasons why karaoke is so popular in Japan. She also studied the mood induction that can occur through participation in karaoke and the effects of participation on those who chose not to sing. Her group reported that karaoke has positive psychological effects, many of which are due to the element of social participation and group interactions. Those who chose not to sing had more negative mood responses after a karaoke session, but could still benefit from the social interaction. I think the message was, if you want to get the best experience out of karaoke then you really have to sing!

The final presentation in this session was ‘Hips don’t lie’ by Geoff Luck (Jyvaskyla, Finland) who presented a study looking at responses to 30 second point light displays of members of the opposite sex dancing to either pop, latin or techno music.  For each stimulus the participants rated sensuality, sexiness, femininity/ masculinity, mood and interestingness of the dancer (I’m still curious about the meaning of that last rating!)

The visuals are obviously great fun and you can’t help but giggle, but there were some interesting findings including some gender differences. The authors computed seven kinematic and kinetic features of the dancing including downforce, hip wiggle, shoulder-hip ratio and knee phase angle.

Women like: Downforce (more sensual): Men like: Hip-knee phase angle (higher interestingness and mood), hip-body ration (sensuality)

So there you go, you know what to focus on next time you are on the dance floor!

That was it for my morning as I headed round the posters to pick up ideas and ask questions. I then dashed to my roving reporter room to type up this summary for you before heading down to sample the lunch buffet. I am happy to report that I have gained a second obsession to go with my current obsession with Greek watermelon – feta. At least they balance out on a naughty-nice dimension 🙂

NOTE: It is now Sunday here and I am heading with my partner Oscar to the beach for 3 days. I am absolutely banned from opening my laptop during this short holiday so the remainder of my ICMPC blogs will start to go up on Thursday. See you then!

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