On the power of music to affect intergroup relations
Bodner, E. & Gilboa, A. (2009). On the power of music to affect intergroup relations. Musicae Scientiae, 13(1), 85-115.
In three experiments we examined whether songs that are widely used in times of crisis (crisis songs, CS) could resume their unifying effect when they are played off-context. In the first experiment, two conflictual groups, religious and secular Jews, were exposed to CS, to love songs (LS), or to no songs and were then asked to express their attitudes towards their outgroups. It was found that CS positively affected respondents attitudes: stigmas and prejudice were lessened. In a second experiment, the CS effect was examined under more restrictive conditions. Instead of listening to CS, participants were asked to recall them from memory. In addition, attitudes towards ingroups and outgroups were collected more systematically. Results showed again that CS reduced intergroup bias. In a third experiment we tried to understand the mechanism underlying the CS effect by examining the thoughts and associations that people had while listening to CS. Analysis of the associations showed that unifying themes such as "nationalism," "sorrow and grief," and "unity" were most prominent when religious and secular respondents listened to CS. The CS effect and its underlying mechanism are explained in light of the "common ingroup identity model." CS had the power to bring into awareness that the conflicting groups belong to one superordinate social group which, in turn, reduced stigmas, prejudice, and intergroup bias. Possible implications of these findings are discussed. ...