Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

River Richart L&S Social Sciences

Auditorium: Political Persuasion via Music and Its Lyrical Content

As the most available and popular form of entertainment, music plays a key role in society. Long has it acted as a forum for political discourse, but little is known about how its content may facilitate political belief change. This project seeks to understand this connection further by asking: How effectively do listeners of a political song receive its political message? Are listeners persuaded by the song’s message? What are some of the conditions that make a song successful to these ends? I will develop and employ an online survey experiment where subjects listen to a randomly assigned song. There will be four songs employed across two genres, with one song of each genre being political and one of each being non-political. Subjects may or may not receive the lyrics of the song as it is played. I hypothesize that the presence of lyrics will increase engagement with lyrical content and the effectiveness of the lyrical message, and a more favorable genre will increase the persuasive quality of the music and lyrics. I hope to contribute key insights into a potentially important domain of political persuasion that has yet to draw significant attention in political science.

Message To Sponsor

For providing me with the opportunity to pursue a passion of mine, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude. Thanks to your contribution, I can provide my study’s participants with the necessary, fair compensation for their time. Your commitment to a vision of mine is priceless, and I can not wait to explore experimental political science and the persuasive power of music with your support.
Major: Political Science
Mentor: Marika Landau-Wells
Sponsor: Various Donors
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