How music affects behavior?

Have you wondered about how music affects the behavior of adolescents? This is one of the most frequent questions I get when I go out to speak around the country. I think it’s a bit of a rhetorical questions because we know that music is powerful and does affect people’s behavior, but especially people who are unsure of themselves, who they are, and what they really want out of life. This fits the description of many adolescents. When teenagers feel alienated from peers and family, they are more prone to identify with powerful media personalities and do some vicarious living through them. If these media personalities sing violent music with violent, negative lyrics, it is going to take a toll on them and the adolescent may actually commit violent acts under the influence of this powerful “music.”

I think you’ll enjoy what this physician has to say about it:

3 Responses to How music affects behavior?

  1. Avatar
    Gerry December 1, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    Music tastes were very important in my teens. The cool kids liked the British Prog Rockers and the nerds liked pop music. Of course I was totally cool. However I’ve noticed that I tend to step on the gas pedal a bit more when one of those golden oldies pops up on my iPod. And I’m no longer a teen….hmmmm

  2. Avatar
    Derrick Phillips December 2, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    So many who listen to a lot of” gangsta rap” or “hate metal “unfortunately seem to embrace the lifestyle expressed in the lyrics. If it’s primarily the musical style that they like,there is some positive rap and metal out there. I’m certainly not in favor of censorship,particularly in the arts,but do we really need music that sends out hate vibes?

  3. Avatar
    Matt March 3, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    Just because music is fast paced and heavily driven doesn’t mean it sends out “hate vibes.” Sure, it will increase heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, etc. But it’s all dependent on the listener. If someone feels it sends out hate vibes, then who are we to tell them they’re wrong. It’s what they feel. I am a Junior in high school and I’ve been listening to sub-genres like Death Metal, Metalcore, Deathcore, Dubstep, Electronicore, and the such. I will agree that a lot of music in these categories are not okay for children, and are often violent. But music isn’t the only thing that has these themes in it. Think of movies. They have ratings. If a movie is ultra violent/gorey, than it will be rated accordingly. That’s why they have parental advisory written on the front of those types of albums. And digitally downloaded music has “Explicit” clearly marked in red. So I think it could be an issue of parents, as well. Kids just need to think critcally about what they’re listening to , and if what the song is portraying is okay or not. Most adolescents have at least a shred of common sense.

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