What does feeling like crying when listening to music feel like?

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paul Silvia, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Music often makes people feel like crying (get a lump in their throat and tears in their eyes) or actually cry. Because crying can co-occur with so many emotions, the present study explored what feeling like crying feels like. A sample of 892 adults reported whether they could remember a time when they cried or felt like crying when listening to music; people who recalled an event then rated it on a wide range of emotional states. A latent class analysis identified 2 underlying clusters of experiences: a 'sad' class defined by feeling sad, upset, and depressed, and an 'awe' class defined by feeling euphoric, amazed, happy, and inspired. People high in openness to experience were more likely to recall an event in the 'awe' class; people high in neuroticism were more likely to recall an event in the 'sad' class. These findings illustrate that feeling like crying from music can reflect different underlying states, and it adds to the growing literature on the complexity of powerful and transcendent aesthetic experiences.

Additional Information

Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 12(2), 216-227
Language: English
Date: 2018
feeling like crying, music, awe, latent class analysis, personality

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