What is it about?

The research is about how different types of music may impact the evaluation of audiences' reaction to film that deal with a diversity group which in this study are the developmentally disabled. We find that inspiring music promotes greater empathy whereas sad music lead to higher levels of pity.

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Why is it important?

It is important since companies that want to promote attitudes such as acceptance of diversity groups need to use communication vehicles that can achieve such desired affects. We see that the components of a medium like film need to be finely tuned such as in the choice of the proper background music. Inspiring music helps prosocial companies to achieve that goal but using sad music may lead to unintended effects such as creating pity toward the diversity group.


As a marketing professor who also moonlights as a filmmaker, this research allowed me to test whether choices that a director makes, often based on gut feelings, is conceptually and empirically justified.

Dae Ryun Chang
Yonsei University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A study on the effects of background film music valence on para-social interaction and consumer attitudes toward social enterprises, Journal of Business Research, March 2022, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2021.12.050.
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