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Can a playlist be your therapist? Balancing emotions through music #ASA183


NASHVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 5, 2022 – Music has the potential to change emotional states and can distract listeners from negative thoughts and pain. It has also been proven to help improve memory, performance, and mood.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 5, 2022 – Music has the potential to change emotional states and can distract listeners from negative thoughts and pain. It has also been proven to help improve memory, performance, and mood.

At the upcoming meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Man Hei Law of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology will present an app that creates custom playlists to help listeners care for their emotions through music. The presentation, “Emotion equalization app: A first study and results,” will take place at the Grand Hyatt Nashville Hotel on Dec. 5 at 3:15 p.m. Eastern U.S. in the Rail Head room, as part of ASA’s 183rd meeting running Dec. 5-9.

“As humanity’s universal language, music can significantly impact a person’s physical and emotional state,” said Law. “For example, music can help people to manage pain. We developed this app as an accessible first aid strategy for balancing emotions.”

The app could be used by people who may not want to receive counseling or treatment because of feelings of shame, inadequacy, or distrust. By taking listeners on an emotional roller-coaster ride, the app aims to leave them in a more positive and focused state than where they began.

Users take three self-led questionnaires in the app to measure their emotional status and provide the information needed to create a playlist. Current emotion and long-term emotion status are gauged with a pictorial assessment tool that helps identify emotions in terms of energy level and mood. Energy level can run from high, medium, to low and mood can register as positive, neutral, or negative. A Patient Health Questionnaire and a General Anxiety Disorder screening are also used to establish personalized music therapy treatments.

By determining the emotional state of the user, the app creates a customized and specifically sequenced playlist of songs using one of three strategies: consoling, relaxing, or uplifting. Consoling music reflects the energy and mood of the user, while relaxing music provides a positive, low energy. Uplifting music is also positive but more high energy.

“In our experiments, we found out that relaxing and uplifting methods can significantly move listeners from negative to more positive emotional states. Especially, when listeners are at a neutral mood, all three proposed methods can change listeners’ emotions to more positive,” said Law.

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———————– MORE MEETING INFORMATION ———————–

Main meeting website: https://acousticalsociety.org/asa-meetings/  
Technical program: https://eppro02.ativ.me/web/planner.php?id=ASAFALL22&proof=true

ASA PRESS ROOM

In the coming weeks, ASA’s Press Room will be updated with newsworthy stories and the press conference schedule at https://acoustics.org/asa-press-room/. 

LAY LANGUAGE PAPERS

ASA will also share dozens of lay language papers about topics covered at the conference. Lay language papers are 300 to 500 word summaries of presentations written by scientists for a general audience. They will be accompanied by photos, audio, and video. Learn more at https://acoustics.org/lay-language-papers/.

PRESS REGISTRATION

ASA will grant free registration to credentialed and professional freelance journalists. If you are a reporter and would like to attend the meeting or virtual press conferences, contact AIP Media Services at [email protected]  For urgent requests, AIP staff can also help with setting up interviews and obtaining images, sound clips, or background information.

ABOUT THE ACOUSTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA

The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is the premier international scientific society in acoustics devoted to the science and technology of sound. Its 7,000 members worldwide represent a broad spectrum of the study of acoustics. ASA publications include The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (the world’s leading journal on acoustics), JASA Express Letters, Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, Acoustics Today magazine, books, and standards on acoustics. The society also holds two major scientific meetings each year. See https://acousticalsociety.org/.

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