Next time you’re going on a date, have a big interview, or just otherwise need a bit of an ego boost – listen to your favorite bass-heavy tune. It doesn’t even have to be EDM.
The love for bass has already been found to be more neurologically associated than we thought, but a new study by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Illinois goes a bit deeper. According to the study, bass-music can lead to feelings of empowerment, or increased confidence. Research suggests that “bass sound and voice are associated with dominance,” says Dennis Hsu.
[…] those who listened to the heavy-bass music reported more feelings of power and generated more power-related words in the implicit task than those listening to the low-bass music.
However, the results of the study are not entirely conclusive. Also tested were various genres of music, including “sports music, hip-hop, and reggae.” Certain associations might be made with certain types of music to elicit a response, such as sports music being associated with crowds of fans at a stadium. Lyrics, however, were excluded from the possible causes of empowerment, citing “participants did not report increased powerful feelings after reading the lyrics, we can rule out the semantic priming effect of lyrics in the selected songs.”
Much more research needs to be done, as this is just the beginning of many tests, but we can generalize these findings a bit. Empowerment can serve as a stop gap for some mental illnesses, including PTSD or depression. Perhaps that is part of the reason why EDM attracts those who feel they don’t belong elsewhere? The sense of empowerment and community can certainly be strong attractions.
Read the rest of the study results here.