If you’re a fan of bass-heavy music, we have good news for you. The results of a recent study suggest that bass-heavy music can make you feel more powerful.
Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Illinois conducted an experiment to test how bass levels affected people’s feelings of dominance and confidence.
“We chose to manipulate bass levels in music because existing literature suggests that bass sound and voice are associated with dominance,” says researcher Dennis Hsu.
Participants in the experiment were asked to listen to 30-second clips from numerous genres of music and describe how the clips made them feel in a self-report and a word completion task. The self-report tested explicit feelings whereas the word completion task tested implicit, or unconscious, feelings.
The researchers discovered that those who listened to clips with heavier bass reported more feelings of power and generated more power-related words. In other words, songs with heavier bass might make you feel like the Hulk.
“Although significantly more research needs to be done before we can truly begin to understand music’s effects on our psychological experiences, I believe our findings provide initial evidence for the potential strategic use of music, especially in situations where people need to feel empowered,” Hsu says.
If you play sports, make sure you put on some bass-heavy music before your next game to get hyped up. It might give you the extra edge you need.
Written by Jimmy Schleisman
Cover photo credit: Statesman