Benjamin J. Balke, Sean M. Raymond



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Music is commonly believed to give people a sense of power. The current research explored the notion of how music changes two aspects of psychological power: a person’s abstract thinking and sense of control. Past research has indicated that the frequency and the psychological power of the songs can evoke power in the participants. It is believed that music with lower frequencies should make participants feel more powerful than participants who listened to high frequency music. While listening to music participants completed a variety of tasks that look to single out aspects of power. Participants listened to either high or low psychological power which may have been shifted up two semitones, down two semitones, or up one semitone and down one semitone in frequency. Preliminary findings failed to indicate a significant relationship between the psychological power of the music and abstract thinking. The results revealed an effect of the psychological power of the music on control which occurred in the opposite direction of what was expected. Preliminary findings have failed to indicate a significant relationship between shifting the frequency of the music and abstract thinking or control. Preliminary results have shown that there is some influence of the music on psychological power. Research is still on going.

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Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Greg C. Elvers

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project


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The Influence of Music on Psychological Power