A study on the effect of music listening on people with high neurotic tendency as evidenced by negative affective scores and physiological responses
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Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Hong Kong
Submission date: 2022-08-18
Final revision date: 2023-10-30
Acceptance date: 2023-10-31
Online publication date: 2024-01-04
Corresponding author
Lap Yan Lo   

Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Hong Kong
Music listening has been found to be effective in reducing stress levels with different participant samples. Relatively little evidence has been obtained from people with high neurotic tendency (HNT), whose dispositional psychological characteristics might dampen the effect of music listening. This study therefore tried to examine the immediate effect of music listening in reducing stressful feelings of participants with either high or low neurotic tendency.

Participants and procedure:
Seventy-nine undergraduate participants who were identified as having either HNT or low neurotic tendency (LNT) accomplished a stressful task before listening to a comforting music piece. Negative affect (NA) scores and heart rate were measured at different phases.

Results in a within-subjects analysis showed that the stressor and music listening could significantly alter the stressful feeling of both participant groups. Although the percentage changes in heart rate were similar between the groups, the changes of NA score which were measured after either the stressful task or the music listening session were consistently lower in the HNT group than the LNT group.

The divergence revealed a loose connection between the subjective feelings and the bodily changes in the HNT group, which could be important for clinicians and practitioners to take into consideration in psychology when evaluating the stressful feelings for their clients with HNT.

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