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When you break up with your lover, you listen ‘like you are being shot..2013-05-30Hit:6199

Which type of music will people choose when they break up with a girlfriend or boyfriend? It is easy to think that people in a sad mood will choose light and cheerful music to change their mood. People, however, prefer sad music, similar to their mood. In other words, more people listen ‘like they are being shot by a bullet’ after breaking up, rather than as if they are ‘gentleman’.

“Emotions stemming from interpersonal relationships take on different aspects from other negative emotions including disappointment, grief, and anger”, Chan Jean Lee, a professor in KAIST College of Business, said. The Journal of Consumer Research published her research on this issue. Professor Lee’ marketing research is on how negative feelings influence aesthetic preferences, e.g., a liking of different kinds of music, movies, or stories.

First of all, two hundred and thirty-three individuals were recruited for the study. The participants were presented with twelve negative situations including losing someone, failing a promotion test, and falling behind competitors. Professor Lee divided them into two groups, and asked different questions. In one group, participants were asked to choose which kind of friend they would prefer to be with: a funny friend or an empathetic friend. In the other group, participants were asked to choose which kind of songs they would prefer to listen to: cheerful songs or sad songs. As a result, participants chose an empathetic friend and sad songs when their distress arose from a broken interpersonal relationship such as losing someone.

On the other hand, participants chose a funny friend and cheerful songs to change their mood when their distress arose from a non-interpersonal reason such as failing something. In addition, Professor Lee asked eleven participants to write about “loss” and to choose ten different songs. Then participants choose sad songs when they are hurt by an interpersonal relationship.

Lastly, seventy-six participants chose rock or metal, so-called angry music, when they were frustrated by their workplace, friends, or family members.

Professor Lee explained, “Our research is a good example for illustrating that the same feelings do not cause the same cultural consumption.”

박건형 기자 kitsch@seoul.co.kr

Link: http://www.seoul.co.kr/news/newsView.php?id=20130521023004

Contact : Lee, Sohyun ( sohyun.c.lee@kaist.ac.kr )