Social Influence in Rating Music
Keywords:social influence, conformity, musical preferences, experiment
AbstractThe goal of this study was to examine the social influence on music liking with respect to individual musical taste. To measure musical taste, participants (N = 95, mean age 20.4 years) filled in the STOMP scale. They were then asked individually to listen to 16 musical excerpts from different genres using a computer program and rate how much they liked them. They were divided into three groups that were shown different information about other participants’ ratings of the same excerpts. The first group was shown ratings allegedly based on others’ positive judgments, the second group was shown ratings allegedly based on others’ negative judgments, and the third group was given no information. The results showed that the participants’ ratings were susceptible to social influence, i.e., they conformed towards the shown group norm. As expected, musical taste was related to the ratings of the music excerpts, but did not moderate the effect of social influence. Thus, the results show that social comparison, which has been confirmed by research in various areas of human judgment, also exists in rating music.