Thematic Music and Context Interact to Affect Inclusion of Schematic Elements During Story Generation

Abstract

Listening to a 90-sec excerpt of thematic music (e.g., baby music) affects performance in a subsequent generation task by increasing the likelihood that concepts associated with the thematic music (e.g., “Sleep,” “Baby”) will be incorporated into the novel product (Sifonis & Fuss, 2012). The generation task theme (e.g., writing a story about a visit to an alien planet versus writing about a visit to an undiscovered, foreign land) also interacts with the music theme to affect the degree to which concepts associated with the music are incorporated into the generated product. The current study tested and supported the hypothesis that listening to thematic music activates complex schematic structures. The generation task theme provides context, thus affecting the specific manifestation of the thematic elements in the generation task (e.g., including concepts associated with a foreign land with many children versus those associated with an alien planet with many children).


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