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The Effect of Music-Induced Mood on Aggressive Affect, Cognition, and Behavior


  • The authors are grateful to Juliane Felber for her support in conducting Study 2.

Barbara Krahé, Department of Psychology, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25, D-14476 Potsdam, Germany. E-mail:


Two studies explored the role of pleasant music in buffering the adverse effects of provocation. In the first study, 111 participants listened to aversive, pleasant, or no music before receiving a provocation and completing a measure of aggressive behavior. Participants exposed to pleasant music reported more positive mood. Those in the aversive music condition reported more negative mood than did those in the no-music control condition. The more positive the music-induced mood, the less anger was experienced and aggressive behavior was shown after provocation. In Study 2 (N = 142), listening to pleasant music reduced anger following provocation, compared to aversive music and a no-music control condition. Pleasant music also increased response latencies in recognizing aggressive words after provocation.