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A' level Psychology - Practical Report and Article analysis

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Introduction

Source: Newspaper article from 'NME' Title: "Official: Radiohead makes kids think of death (and ice cream) - NME Date: September 2003 What are the underlying psychological assumptions in the source? The article focuses on childrens perceptions of music by Radiohead who are known for being a depressive band but others say 'creative geniuses.' If the media changes trends and perceptions then what effect can one bands' songs have on an individual. 'Those social stimuli that are the products of the behaviour of other people essentially constitute culture.' As stated by Segall, culture relates to perception and generalisation of this can depend on age, wealth and country. The children, aged ten years old from California, USA listened to Radiohead tracks and then drew their impression of the songs showing what perceptions were created from the stimuli. The children requested 'Sean Paul instead' but were told to listen to Radiohead so forced compliance (Festinger and Carlsmith) may have caused them to cognitively 'switch off' and draw anything which is why pictures such as 'Aliens, church organs and McDonalds fries' were created. ...read more.

Middle

The bio-physiological effect of this music caused lower blood pressure and pulse rate whilst the childrens' behaviour and concentration improved. It is believed the music increased endorphin production, reduced corticosteroirds and adrenalin so metabolism slowed and co-ordination improved so biologically music is positive. This was calming music whereas Radiohead caused images of death (and ice cream.) Reports are appearing within media about the effect various music is having on people and there is a rise in cases of depression and suicide, at the same time more young people are listening to radio stations such as 'Classic FM' especially around exams because it is calming. Some studies such as Savan's show the biophysical effects that music has but it would be a good contrast is this was done again using music such as heavy metal to see what changes occur within students. Schachter says there is a relationship between physiological arousal and emotion caused by external stimulus, like Savon's study that found classical music calmed down pupils perhaps Radiohead's lyrics make children feel frustrated and upset. The children all showed physical effects including lack of movement and a reduction in facial expressions when the music was played as ...read more.

Conclusion

This idealistic view of people means it is likely people will start to believe all the lyrics are true and take on this sort of attitude. Another study, which would be beneficial to findings is if parents listened to the music and see whether their opinions of this music changes and would this have an effect on the types of music they allow their children to listen to. If the children within the article were exposed to various types of music it would be interesting to see how their drawings altered to explain if it was external stimuli or internal feelings that caused these drawings. Psychology could compare groups of people who listen to different types of music to see how they are and it they show particular traits of the music and style. As the Radiohead children showed, music can have a profound influence on thoughts and feelings and it is not always for the best. P.S - The week this experiment occurred the school were celebrating National Ice Cream day, this may explain the one thousand foot ice cream. ...read more.

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