ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (6): 1004-1011.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2018.01004

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The psychological mechanism of enjoying sad music

WANG Ding, WANG Chao, LI Hong()   

  1. College of Psychology and Sociology, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
  • Received:2017-05-23 Online:2018-06-10 Published:2018-04-28
  • Contact: LI Hong


Previous studies have shown that sad music could evoke the aesthetic pleasure or other psychological benefits while inducing sadness. Based on these existing evidence, two major psychological theories have been proposed: one is the " dissociation theory ", the other is the" neutralization theory ". Both theories have been used to elaborate how sad music becomes pleasurable. However, neither can provide a comprehensive and reasonable explanation. Therefore, further exploration of the specific reward processing of sad music is of great significance. Future research need to clarify the neural basis of the existing psychological theories from the neurobiological perspectives.

Key words: sad music, emotion, secondary gain, dissociation theory, neutralization theory

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