Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology


Clinical Psychology



First Advisor

Lawrence C. Grebstein


This study is an investigation of the components of sound outside of recognized language which elicit emotion. The stimulus sounds consisted of music written by the experimenter with carefully organized and controlled variations in tempo, instrumentation, and mode. Subjects reported reactions to the stimuli through rating scales of eight groups of emotions. Results of the study indicate that nonlinguistic sound does elicit emotions and that tempo is important with respect to INTEREST-EXCITEMENT, ENJOYMENT-JOY, DISTRESS-ANGUISH, and FEAR-TERROR emotional groups; instrument is important for INTEREST-EXCITEMENT, ENJOYMENT-JOY, DISTRESS-ANGUISH, SHAME-HUMILIATION, and FEAR-TERBOR emotional groups; and mode is important for INTEREST-EXCITEMENT, SURPRISE-STARTLE, DISTRESS-ANGUISH ANGER-RAGE, and FEAR-TERROR emotional groups. In addition to the influence of individual components of sound, several interactions among those components and context were found to ha important in ~explaining emotional responses to nonlinguistic sound.



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