York Music Psychology Group

Research to explain and understand musical behaviour and experience.

A replication study into the role of emotion in episodic long-term memory for film music

We have chosen to replicate a study by Susann Eschrich, Thomas Munte and Eckart Altenmuller: Unforgettable film music: the role of emotion in episodic long-term memory for music.


We hope to replicate and expand on the main findings. The original study was to investigate the influence of emotional content in musical pieces on recognition performance for the pieces in another session one week. The study is based on felt emotions and so the hypotheses were based on the dimensions of valence, arousal and emotional intensity that are elicited in them and not the emotions that are perceived.

The first hypothesis is that highly arousing musical excerpts should be remembered better which was unconfirmed in the study. Secondly, when the valence of a piece is rated as being between neutral and highly positive, the pieces will lead to better recognition memory which was confirmed in the study. Finally, they hypothesized that during an encoding task, the group rating valence will remember pieces better than the group estimating the length of the excerpt.

This test yielded no significant results. To expand on these hypotheses, we hope to achieve more significant results using a sample of only undergraduate students and to include analysis of mood in a pre-test questionnaire and music preferences from a post test questionnaire.

Researcher(s)