Music vs. Anxiety: An Experimental Design

Anxiety is the body’s natural reaction to stress. Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension about the future concerning one’s environment. We tested the relationship between music genres and anxiety levels, predicting that participants exposed to music from horror movies would exhibit higher rates of anxiety. We used the 10-minute movie clips with two groups, high anxiety (horror music) and low anxiety (comedy music), measuring participants’ symptoms of anxiety using the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). The BAI is used to measure the severity of anxiety in both adolescents and adults, giving clinicians a solid basis to make a confident diagnosis. Because anxiety can be self-diagnosed, we are using the BAI for the increased content, concurrent, and construct validity. We analyzed BAI levels before and after participants watched the videos to measure the direct effect that music has on anxiety using both funny and anxiety-inducing movie genres (horror, or suspense).