Monday, March 3, 2014

Group 24 - Movies, Music, and Moods


Hi! Today was the first day looking deeper into our topic/experiment, my experiment consists of music and movies and how they change the mood of someone while watching the movies. For example, in a movie a woman could be at a fancy dinner for her anniversary with her lover and suddenly dramatic music kicks in and the viewers went from happy to scared or surprised just because of the music. I do not know too much information on why music changes the mood of a viewer, so my partner and I are interested in learning more. Hopefully the work doesn't become overwhelming for the two of us!


Finally, my partner and I started organizing our information and started to research specifically why music is put into movies. We found out that music is often used to direct viewers emotional response, catch ones attention, and to help intensify and help the audience feel what the actors are feeling. Also, while listening to music, the part of the brain that releases dopamine and serotonin during pleasurable activities, is activated while music is playing. You would think it would be difficult to get all of this work done between two partners, but we are getting a lot of it done and divided equally.


Today we finished our pages they are suppose to be due on Thursday, now we are going to start finding 3 psychology studies that relate to our music, movie experiment. By finding these 3 studies, it will help us understand more about our topic and we can use these later when writing about our background research. My partner and I also divided up the work for this psychology fair project. For example, we divided up who will research or review the literature of our topic, the rough draft, who will come up with the creation of activities, the ideas for visual display, assembling of materials, booth set-up, clean-up, and the final paper, which I mentioned earlier in this blog. The work for this psychology fair is pretty easy so far!


In my blog yesterday, I mentioned my partner and I started to research 3 studies that will help us understand more about our topic and when we write about our background research. In class, we found study's that were done at the University of Missouri on an online website. On the website it explained in the Journal of Consumer Research, a study was found that people who are going through break-ups or having relationship problems prefer music and experiences that reflect their negative and sad mood. The one study showed that the preference for sad music was higher when people were going through the loss of a friend or disappointed in their self. Another study showed when people were presented with frustrating situations and were asked to rate angry music versus joyful music, participants liked angry music more when they were frustrated by interpersonal experiences than impersonal problems. For example, losing a friendship versus not having a cell phone charger. A couple other studies were explained on the website as well that explained how happy music increased a persons happiness. I believe this website and the articles on it, really helped with explaining mood relating to music and social situations! 


In class, we were introduced the next steps for our experiment. My partner and I needed to decide if we wanted required characteristics for our participants. We want to survey all students, freshman through seniors, and we wanted to survey both, boys and girls. Our participants will be tested in groups of three and it does not matter if others watch while this survey is being preformed because our participants are going to have headphones in and we are measuring a persons mood, so every participants reactions/moods can be different. To measure the participants moods, we are going to use a scale 1 through 10. 1 is going to be sad and 10 is going to be happy. This survey will take about 2 minutes for each participants to fill out as well.


By the end of the class period, we need to have handouts 16 and 17 done. Yesterday we finished handout 16, which talked about the characteristics of our participants and how we will measure their moods. On handout 17, we needed to create a hypothesis. Our hypothesis is that the participants mood will alter specifically to each movie they watch. We also needed to make sure our background information is available to us, we have access to materials if we need to make a request for them, we will have enough time for our 200+ trials, and etc. Everything for our experiment is falling into place!  


After returning from the weekend, it was time to start working on our experiment! In class we needed to start our rough draft. The rough draft is a preview of our knowledge about our experiment and it is suppose to explain certain psychological research or studies that relate to our topic of how music in movies affects a viewers mood. Also, we needed to list the materials we are going to need to preform our experiment and how we are going to set it up. My partner and I believe it is going to be better for our participants if we isolated them behind a temporary wall while watching the movie clips. We also need to start working on our presentation poster!


Today my partner and I started to look for graphs and pictures to put onto our poster board. We thought it would be a creative idea to put pictures relating to our title onto the board. For example, under mood we put the theatrical happy and sad faces. A lot of the graphs we found online also help explain how music affects a persons mood, which is going to help our participants understand our experiment visually.


Continuing on our poster, in class we looked for more pictures that relate to our experiment and graphs. On the poster, we have our title and a couple pictures up. We need to gather a couple points of information to add to our poster. My partner and I also discussed what movie clips we are going to show to our participants. One possible example is the ending scene in Titanic, which would be the sad clip and the happy clip may possibly be from the movie 500 Days of Summer. The experiment is coming together!


In class, my partner and I are still working on our poster. We decided to put two questions on our poster that will have bullet points of information under them. One of the questions will be, "How does music relate to mood?" and the other questions will be, "How does music affect a movie scene and a viewers emotion?". These two questions answer the basic information for our experiment. We will continue to research and take information we already have and put it into bullet points for these two questions.


For our poster, we decided to put two questions on it that I stated in our blog yesterday. Today we created the bullet points for this poster. For example, under the question " How does music affect a movie scene and a viewers emotion?", we explained that in the 2007 horror Paranormal Activity, audiences reported really high fear levels even though there was barely any action onscreen. It is believed this was caused by the use of low frequency sound waves. Also another bullet point explains that regions of the brain that light up with music are those linked to euphoric stimuli such as food, sex and drugs. After we put the bullet points onto this poster, we need a couple more materials for our participants and we will be ready to pull off our experiment. 


Finally, my partner and I finished out poster! Tonight we are going to set up our booth and have our parents come to school to test out our experiments. Our parents coming to test our experiments will help all of the psychology fair students fix the mistakes and little bumps in our experiments. My partner and I are excited to introduce out  experiment to our our fellow students in the psychology fair tomorrow. It will be a great oppurtunity to see what we have learn and see if our experiment was worth while.


Today was the day of the psychology fair! It was a very long day to say the least, but it was a fun experience and I believe my partner and I were very pleased on how many students wanted to try out our experiment. I would say we had about 200 participants throughout the day, but a alot of them did not use the QR code scanners. My partner and I would love to preform an experiment in the psycology fair again!

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