Listening to Thematic Music Prior to a Generation Task Causes Thematic Elements to Be Included in a Story Generation Task.


The current study examines whether thematic music (e.g., battle music) can activate related concepts in memory (e.g., weapons, death) and whether the activated concepts are more likely to be included in a story generation task. Participants listened to one of two 90-sec excerpts of thematic music (Baby theme or War theme) either before or after engaging in a story generation task. Their stories were examined to determine the degree to which the thematic elements of the music were included in the stories. Across two experiments, there was evidence that listening to war or baby themed music before engaging in a generation task increased the likelihood that elements associated with that theme would be incorporated into the story. Evidence also existed that the music theme interacted with the story theme to influence the degree that thematic elements would be incorporated into the story.

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