McNair Symposium

2023 McNair Research Symposium

Jewelie Lujan

Correlating Music Preference and Anxiety Levels in College Music Students: A Survey Study

In a previous study done by Rentfrow Gosling (2003), music preference and depression were linked; however, there are no prior studies that have correlated music preference to anxiety levels, especially in college students. Aside from the selected participant group being highly accessible to the researcher, college students may be the largest consumers that listen to new music genres. This study aims to determine if there is a correlation between music preference and anxiety levels in college students. Research with updated music genre availability may significantly contribute to the music education discipline. This quantitative study used two pre-established measures: The Short Test of Music Preference (STOMP; Rentfrow & Gosling, 2003) and The State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI, Spielberger, Gorsuch, Lushene, Vagg, & Jacobs, 1983). Participants took about 10 minutes to complete both surveys and received refreshments for their efforts. Data were analyzed using the Pearson-product-moment correlation procedure to examine the bi-variate relationship between music preference and anxiety level Descriptive statistics and figures for all variables were computed using Microsoft Excel (2018) and IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS, Version 27). Similar trends of music preference across different groups are displayed. Current state and trait anxiety are in the highest percentile rank across normal groups of the same age. Some significant results were found where two similar genres, Rock and Alternative, had negative, significant correlations with state anxiety, and two others, Pop and Soundtrack, had positive, significant correlations with trait anxiety. It is suggested from the findings that Rock and Alternative genres can be relaxing for momentary feelings of anxiety, and Pop and Soundtrack genres may be stimulating for anxiety in general.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Catherine Tu

TAMUK School of Music

Jewelie Lujan's Poster

Jewelie Lujan