Critical Essay research in music (Time perception)

Submitted By chinyaotian
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Pages: 12

In the last two decades, the growth of literature in the psychology of music has been a remarkable phenomenon. Even though there are numerous of important journals that have been published, the research and the publications in this field had been increased dealing with the different aspects of music psychology. So how can we understand music and its relation to our cognitive responses, such as emotion, perception, language, etc.? Why is music involved in the human cognitive process? These questions can be understood through scientific investigation of human processing mechanisms.
Research in psychology of music has shown that different features of music such as genre (Oakes, 2000), tempo (Waterhouse, et. al., 2010), familiarity (Ali & Peynircioglu, 2010) and etc. could influence on individual’s perception and behaviour. For example, Milliman (1982) found that participants spent a longer time shopping when a slow-tempo music was played in the background. A study that was done by Waterhouse (2010) establishes that participants run longer distance on a treadmill when the musical tempo was increased and states that the increase of arousal is the possible reason. Oakes (2000) states that different genres of music could attract certain types of customers, for example, modern music such as pop, rock, and hip hop is more likely to attract younger customers. Moreover, the findings in Ali and Peynircioglu (2010) research indicate that familiarity does modulating a listener’s emotional response to music. This article is focusing on the critical evaluation of the researches in time perception and music. In order to understand music and time, it is needed to understand the basics about time perception and then the research in relation to music.
Based on the recent article by Wearden (2008), he stated the two main types in recent time perception research, which are prospective timing and retrospective timing. Prospective time judgments are when subjects are informed that time is the focus of interest of the study, whereas situations when participants are not informed, is called retrospective timing. Both of these timings can make a judgment but one with specific timing mechanism (prospective) and one without (retrospective). Although the expectation for the outcome of prospective timing tasks is that it should be on average accurate, but sometimes the results is inverse (Wearden, 2008). The theoretical framework for understanding this timing is that human body possesses a variety of periodic device such as the heartbeat and breathing which can be used to measure the passage of time (Ornstein, 1969). Retrospective timing can be understood by the account of duration judgment of “storage size” proposed by Ornstein (1969). This storage refers to the quantity of memory that was stored in the brain during the time period, where the more memory the longer the time is estimated. According to Predebon (1996), the outcome of the retrospective in relation to non-temporal processing has been mixed and it has been experimentally studied less compare to prospective paradigm.
The perception of time in music is a complex phenomenon as the experience of each individual depends on various external factors; it could be the tempo (Milliman, 1982), the rhythm, the modality (Kellaris and Kent, 1992; Ziv and Omer, 2011), and the environmental stimuli, which can be explained by several theories. What makes perception of time and rhythm particularly fascinating is that, unlike pitch for instance, humans do not have an organ dedicated to the perception of time. One of the most important literatures in this field is the “storage size” that was mention previously. It was suggested that individual should feel shorter duration estimation when the quantity of information processing is less, due to low amount of information to recall. On the other hand, if there are a lot of information has been stored in the memory during a particular time- slot, period estimates