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Title: A framework of distinct musical chills : theoretical, causal, and conceptual evidence
Author: Bannister, Scott Craig
ISNI:       0000 0004 9348 7582
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2020
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The phenomenon of musical chills has attracted extensive attention in previous music and emotion research, correlating the experience with musical structure, psychoacoustics parameters, individual differences in listeners, and the listening situation. However, there are three crucial limitations in the literature: 1) The emotional characteristics of musical chills have not been explored, and are poorly understood; 2) musical chills have never been causally manipulated, and no theories have been tested; and 3) it is unclear whether chills are a unified psychological construct, or a set of distinct experiences, distinguished at the levels of subjective feeling, psychophysiological response, individual differences, and underlying psychological induction mechanisms. Across five studies, ranging from qualitative surveys to experimental manipulations of musical chills, these limitations were addressed in the current thesis, with results suggesting firstly that musical chills are often mixed emotional experiences, described as moving, bittersweet and intense; secondly, that musical chills can be manipulated, and corresponding theories tested, with a novel experimental paradigm, by removing key sections in a piece or changing psychoacoustic parameters such as loudness and brightness; finally, that there are likely distinct types of chills experiences, which across multimedia are linked to both the affective dimension of valence and individual differences such as trait empathy, and with music through mechanisms of fear and vigilance on the one hand, and social bonding on the other. The studies and results are discussed in terms of two categories of musical chills experiences, culminating in a preliminary Distinct Musical Chills Framework, producing a series of testable hypotheses for future empirical work, and a comprehensive research agenda for the field moving forward.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available