Lundqvist, Carlsson, Hilmersson, and Juslin (2009) presented evidence of differential autonomic emotional responses to “happy” and “sad” music in healthy adult listeners. The present study sought to replicate and extend these findings by employing a similar research design and measurement instruments. Therefore, we used instrumental film music instead of vocal music, and assessed listeners’ music expertise. The present results show similarities and differences in patterns of psychological and physiological responses as compared to the previous work. Happy music evoked more happiness, higher skin conductance level, higher respiratory rate, and more zygomatic facial muscle activity than sad music, whereas sad music generated higher corrugator muscle activity than happy music. Influences of music sophistication as well as of sex were negligible. Taken together, these results further support the hypothesis that music induces differential autonomic emotional responses in healthy listeners. They also highlight the importance of replication or multi-site studies to strengthen the empirical basis of fundamental issues in music psychological research.
BARON-COHEN'S EMPATHIZER-SYSTEMIZER-THEORY (E-S theory, Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer, & Belmonte, 2005) distinguishes two general cognitive styles. Empathizing is characterized as the capacity to respond to feeling states of other individuals, whereas systemizing is characterized as the capacity to respond to regularities of objects and events. To investigate these traits within the music domain, a questionnaire study ( N = 442) was conducted. Construct validity and reliability of the measurement instrument were assessed by factor analysis procedures. A simplified unit weighting (SUW) scale was used to determine individual differences in music empathizing (ME) and music systemizing (MS). Significant effects of sex and of music performance experience were observed. A highly similar pattern of results emerged from a replicating survey ( N = 155) using a short-version of the questionnaire. These results suggest that the ME and MS traits corroborate and extend the general E-S theory.