York Music Psychology Group

Research to explain and understand musical behaviour and experience.

Visiting seminar leader: Jonna Vuoskoski

YMPG were thrilled to welcome Jonna to the York Music Psychology Group and the University of York recently.

Title: Moved by music: The role of empathy in music-induced emotions

Music is imbued with connotations of human emotional expression on multiple levels. Although it is likely that music utilises multiple different psychological mechanisms in the induction of emotional responses, one compelling account suggests that we might sometimes respond to music as we would to the observed experiences of another person — with empathy. Furthermore, I will argue that the experience we commonly label ‘being moved’ (often experienced in significant life events and in the context of music and other arts) is an inherently social emotion with prosocial functions – even when evoked by music. In my talk, I will introduce the basic premise and outline the evidence for this account, and present recent findings from my own empirical work.