Why do we like the music we do? Research has shown that musical preferences and personality are linked, yet little is known about other influences on preferences such as cognitive styles. To address this gap, we investigated how individual differences in musical preferences are explained by the empathizing-systemizing (E-S) theory. Study 1 examined the links between empathy and musical preferences across four samples. By reporting their preferential reactions to musical stimuli, samples 1 and 2 (Ns = 2,178 and 891) indicated their preferences for music from 26 different genres, and samples 3 and 4 (Ns = 747 and 320) indicated their preferences for music from only a single genre (rock or jazz). Results across samples showed that empathy levels are linked to preferences even within genres and account for significant proportions of variance in preferences over and above personality traits for various music-preference dimensions. Study 2 (N = 353) replicated and extended these findings by investigating how musical preferences are differentiated by E-S cognitive styles (i.e., ‘brain types’). Those who are type E (bias towards empathizing) preferred music on the Mellow dimension (R&B/soul, adult contemporary, soft rock genres) compared to type S (bias towards systemizing) who preferred music on the Intense dimension (punk, heavy metal, and hard rock). Analyses of fine-grained psychological and sonic attributes in the music revealed that type E individuals preferred music that featured low arousal (gentle, warm, and sensual attributes), negative valence (depressing and sad), and emotional depth (poetic, relaxing, and thoughtful), while type S preferred music that featured high arousal (strong, tense, and thrilling), and aspects of positive valence (animated) and cerebral depth (complexity). The application of these findings for clinicians, interventions, and those on the autism spectrum (largely type S or extreme type S) are discussed.
Classical music has been shown to reduce stress in kennelled dogs; however, rapid habituation of dogs to this form of auditory enrichment has also been demonstrated. The current study investigated the physiological and behavioural response of kennelled dogs (n=38) to medium-term (5days) auditory enrichment with five different genres of music including Soft Rock, Motown, Pop, Reggae and Classical, to determine whether increasing the variety of auditory stimulation reduces the level of habituation to auditory enrichment. Dogs were found to spend significantly more time lying and significantly less time standing when music was played, regardless of genre. There was no observable effect of music on barking, however, dogs were significantly (z=2.2, P<0.05) more likely to bark following cessation of auditory enrichment. Heart Rate Variability (HRV) was significantly higher, indicative of decreased stress, when dogs were played Soft Rock and Reggae, with a lesser effect observed when Motown, Pop and Classical genres were played. Relative to the silent period prior to auditory enrichment, urinary cortisol:creatanine (UCCR) valueswere significantly higher during Soft Rock (t=2.781, P<0.01) and the second silent control period following auditory enrichment (t=2.46, P<0.05). Despite the mixed response to different genres, the physiological and behavioural changes observed remained constant over the 5d of enrichment suggesting that the effect of habituation may be reduced by increasing the variety of auditory enrichment provided.
It is estimated that between 2% and 5% of the population experience symptoms of compulsive hoarding. Recent investigation into hoarding has shown that it is a problem in its own right and is therefore being added to a diagnostic manual of mental disorders. This integrative literature review examines the impact that hoarding has on family members. The comprehensive literature review spans a period from database inception to November 2012. A search of the databases Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online, and psycINFO, together with hand searches, was completed. Thematic analysis revealed three overriding themes: quality of life, shattered families and rallying around. These themes illuminate the negative impact that hoarding behaviour has on families and the inadequacy of available services. The relative lack of robust evidence about the impact of hoarding behaviour on families suggests that further research is needed in this emergent field.
F Scott Fitzgerald spent the 1930s writing about illness themes while he struggled with tuberculosis, insomnia, alcoholism, heart disease and the mental illness of his wife Zelda. During this decade, Fitzgerald published six stories that prominently feature hospitals and healthcare professionals. These stories, the ‘doctor-nurse stories’, along with nine additional published stories that touch upon medical themes have not previously been investigated as a thematic grouping. This paper explores the 1930s stories in the context of Fitzgerald’s life and career in order to highlight his significant yet previously undervalued contribution to the canon of illness literature and his work’s relevance to the field of literature and medicine.
Changes or introductions of technology or equipment can affect how a sport is played or influence its performances. This article conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature to identify any case studies of controversial events surrounding the implementation or use of sports technology. 56 articles were identified that highlighted 31 different case studies found over a three decade time period. Thematic analysis revealed six distinctive themes when reviewing the articles. Whilst the sport of golf had the highest number of case studies, it was found that a significant level of attention had been recorded in the cases of Oscar Pistorius use of prosthetic legs in athletics and the use of full length swimsuits in swimming. The trend surrounding the number of articles was shown to be initially intermittent but saw a peak period from 2008 to 2010. However, the frequency of such articles since this peak has been more consistent. It is proposed that long periods of time without intervention or resolution by a governing body often increases the peer-reviewed attention paid to such cases in examples such as those identified in this systematic review.
Psychiatric mother-baby units (MBUs) are currently viewed as best practice, particularly in the UK, Australia and France, for improving outcomes for mothers and babies when the former are experiencing severe forms of mental illness. A growing number of publications have examined MBUs, but to date, there has not been a comprehensive review of these studies. As such, the systematic review reported in this paper sought to address this gap. A systematic search was conducted for peer-reviewed research and grey literature published in English between 2000 and 2015. A final sample of 44 publications were identified that reported on empirical findings with regard to MBUs. Three quarters of the studies focused on individual MBUs and most studies were quantitative. A thematic analysis of the studies identified three major themes: (1) admissions data, (2) outcomes for mothers, and (3) programmes and interventions. The analysis also identified four secondary themes: (i) follow-up after discharge, (ii) separation of mothers and babies after discharge, (iii) client satisfaction with MBUs, and (iv) partners of women admitted to MBUs. The findings of the review highlight gaps in knowledge about MBUs and provide suggestions for future research.
Music genre classification is a challenging research concept, for which open questions remain regarding classification approach, music piece representation, distances between/within genres, and so on. In this paper an investigation on the classification of generated music pieces is performed, based on the idea that grouping close related known pieces in different sets -or clusters- and then generating in an automatic way a new song which is somehow “inspired” in each set, the new song would be more likely to be classified as belonging to the set which inspired it, based on the same distance used to separate the clusters. Different music pieces representations and distances among pieces are used; obtained results are promising, and indicate the appropriateness of the used approach even in a such a subjective area as music genre classification is.
Empathy is a multidimensional process that incorporates both mentalizing and emotional sharing dimensions. Empathic competencies are important for creating interpersonal relationships with other people and developing adequate social behaviour. The lack of these social components also leads to isolation and exclusion in healthy populations. However, few studies have investigated how to improve these social skills. In a recent study, Kidd and Castano (2013) found that reading literary fiction increases mentalizing ability and may change how people think about other people’s emotions and mental states. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effects of reading literary fiction, compared to nonfiction and science fiction, on empathic abilities. Compared to previous studies, we used a larger variety of empathy measures and utilized a pre and post-test design. In all, 214 healthy participants were randomly assigned to read a book representative of one of three literary genres (literary fiction, nonfiction, science fiction). Participants were assessed before and after the reading phase using mentalizing and emotional sharing tests, according to Zaki and Ochsner' s (2012) model. Comparisons of sociodemographic, mentalizing, and emotional sharing variables across conditions were conducted using ANOVA. Our results showed that after the reading phase, the literary fiction group showed improvement in mentalizing abilities, but there was no discernible effect on emotional sharing abilities. Our study showed that the reading processes can promote mentalizing abilities. These results may set important goals for future low-cost rehabilitation protocols for several disorders in which the mentalizing deficit is considered central to the disease, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders and Schizophrenia.
To examine the basis of multidisciplinary teamwork. In real-world healthcare settings, clinicians often cluster in profession-based tribal silos, form hierarchies and exhibit stereotypical behaviours. It is not clear whether these social structures are more a product of inherent characteristics of the individuals or groups comprising the professions, or attributable to a greater extent to workplace factors.
Recent work in the sociology of music suggests a declining importance of genre categories. Yet other work in this research stream and in the sociology of classification argues for the continued prevalence of genres as a meaningful tool through which creators, critics and consumers focus their attention in the topology of available works. Building from work in the study of categories and categorization we examine how boundary strength and internal differentiation structure the genre pairings of some 3 million musicians and groups. Using a range of network-based and statistical techniques, we uncover three musical “complexes,” which are collectively constituted by 16 smaller genre communities. Our analysis shows that the musical universe is not monolithically organized but rather composed of multiple worlds that are differently structured-i.e., uncentered, single-centered, and multi-centered.