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Involuntary musical imagery as a component of ordinary music cognition : a review of empirical evidence.

Liikkanen, L.A. and Jakubowski, K. (2020) 'Involuntary musical imagery as a component of ordinary music cognition : a review of empirical evidence.', Psychonomic bulletin & review., 27 (6). pp. 1195-1217.

Abstract

Involuntary musical imagery (INMI) refers to a conscious mental experience of music that occurs without deliberate efforts to initiate or sustain it. This experience often consists of the repetition of a short fragment of a melody, colloquially called an “earworm.” Here, we present the first comprehensive, qualitative review of published empirical research on INMI to date. We performed an extensive literature search and discovered, in total, 47 studies from 33 peer-reviewed articles that met the inclusion criteria for the review. In analyzing the content of these studies, we identified four major research themes, which concern the phenomenology, dynamics, individual differences, and musical features of INMI. The findings answer many questions of scientific interest—for instance, what is typical in terms of INMI frequency, duration, and content; which factors influence INMI onset; and whether demographic and personality factors can explain individual differences in susceptibility and responses to INMI. This review showcases INMI as a well-established phenomenon in light of a substantial body of empirical studies that have accumulated consistent results. Although the populations under study show an unfavorable bias towards Western, educated participants, the evidence depicts INMI as a universal psychological phenomenon, the possible function of which we do not yet fully understand. The concluding section introduces several suggestions for future research to expand on the topic.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
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Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
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(1031Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-020-01750-7
Publisher statement:This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:01 July 2020
Date of first online publication:24 June 2020
Date first made open access:01 July 2020

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