The Influence of Music on Our Decision-Making Processes

Music plays a vital role in many people’s lives. People listen to music professionally, some create it, some dance to it, others just relax while listening their favorite jazz album. Music has some influence on us, sometimes therapeutical, at other times, emotional. Well, music should always have an emotional effect on us, otherwise, we should move on to a different song.

Music can also influence our decision-making processes and here are some examples of that.

Music and Gambling Decisions

A study was done to examine whether people make decisions while listening to happy or sad music. The study’s results show that playing happy or sad music has no impact on the decision-making process, but, there is an impact on other processes.

While the decision-making process of the test subjects was not changed during the study, their behavior changed according to the type of music they listened to.

Music classified as happy made the people listening make faster decisions than the people who listened to sad music. The ones listening to happy music also made better choices, so many that it can be concluded that the type of music can influence your speed and quality of decision making. Speed is also affected by the tempo of the music. An increased tempo increases the speed of decision making. This study was done by Elad Liebman, Corey N. White and Peter Stone in 2016.

Music and Purchasing Decisions

Music is often played in commercials and advertisements of all kinds, on TV or on the internet. Some commercials are so iconic that you probably know their jingle by now. Old Spice has a jingle which many would instantly recognize, especially those who are fans of the Terry Crews period of commercials.

Jingles are amazing marketing tools, as people often remember jingles, thus directly connecting it to a product.

On the other hand, the type of music can also change our mood, but unlikely our purchase decision. There are outliers in such cases, but mood changes have been documented multiple times, according to the type of music played in commercials. The type of song being played is best matched with the type of product. Happier tunes should be matched with travel ads, amusement park ads and generally joyful things. Sad music can be matched with greeting cards, medicine or winter holidays. The right mood may influence a purchase decision, but music itself does not influence shopping decisions directly..

Music and Everyday Things

Music can change our mood when doing everyday things. People often play music which suits their mood, or music contradictory to their mood, depending on what they hope to achieve. People who are sad often play the opposite type of music, if they wish to get out of the blue. Happier people tend to play happier music.

Music is said to be motivational. Songs from the Rocky franchise are often played in gyms and the same goes for many other songs. Some genres are considered genres for study, like jazz, for example.

Music can change our mood, but not our decision-making processes.

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