The Effects of Heavy Metal Music on Aggression

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Date: not stated
Participants: The participants were collected by means of convenience sampling. The participants in the study were 40 undergraduate psychology students, all involved in Psychology Learning Communities at Loyola University New Orleans. The participants were mostly Caucasian with some African Americans, Hispanics and Asians. There were 3 male and 29 female participants, with a greater proportion of females. The participants were offered course credit for participation, and were informed by the leaders of their psychology learning community classes of the experiment. Materials: The materials used in the experiment were: standard IRB consent forms, a standard portable boombox in the psychology computer lab in Monroe Hall to listen to the music provided, pencils to mark their responses on the given aggression questionnaire, the 25 item researcher generated aggression questionnaire, a copy of which is contained in the appendix,(containing questions proposing situations such as, If a telemarketer calls in the middle of dinner would you be a. nonviolent b. somewhat violent c. moderately violent and d. very violent), and finally the song "Jerk Off" by the heavy metal group Tool. The song being approximately 4 minutes in length. Design and Procedure: The design of the experiment was experimental. The independent variable in this experiment was bi-level, including a music and no music condition. The dependent variable of the experiment was the level of aggression reported on the questionnaire by the no music/control group and the effect of the song on the varying levels of aggression measured by the questionnaire. The dependent variable was measured by the increase in aggressive responses on the aggression questionnaire in those participants that listened to music while answering the questionnaire as compared with the participant that listened to no music while answering the questionnaire. Participants were told to be present in the psychology computer lab, room 469 of Monroe Hall at Loyola University New Orleans at the allotted time for the experiment. The researchers walked into the room, thanked the students for their participation and handed the participants two copies of the informed consent form. The participants were then asked to sign both copies of the form and to fill out the second copy with their address if they wished to receive the results of this study. They were also asked to detach and keep the second copy for their own records, and to hand in the first copy for ours. The participants were then handed the aggression questionnaire and were asked to not look ahead in the packet. The participants were then asked if they had any questions regarding the nature of the study or their rights as participants. The participants were handed pencils and told to begin filling out a preliminary nonsense questionnaire. The questionnaire asked the participants to "Name all the songs you can in 45 seconds", in order to clear their minds and to allow them to begin listening to the music. Then the music, by way of a portable boombox was immediately turned on by the experimenters. Half of the participants were put in a control condition where they did not listen to music while filling out the questionnaire. After the experiment was completed, the participants were debriefed. They were told that the experiment in which they just participated, was measuring the effects of heavy metal music on aggression in college students. The participants were reminded of the existence of the Loyola Counseling Center, and given the number to the facility if they were distraught or if they felt as though they needed to talk to someone after the experiment. The participants were thanked again for participating and then told they were free to go.

Results/findings: The research was aimed at answering one central question : Is heavy metal music a...
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