Listening to ironically-enjoyed music: A self-regulatory perspective

Van den Tol, Annemieke and Giner-Sorolla, Roger (2017) Listening to ironically-enjoyed music: A self-regulatory perspective. Psychology of Music, 45 (3). pp. 321-337. ISSN 0305-7356

Full content URL:

Listening to ironically-enjoyed music: A self-regulatory perspective
[img] PDF
78918632.pdf - Whole Document

Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


This research examines adults’ reported motivations for listening to music that they
enjoy ironically. In a pilot (N = 96) and main (N = 175) studies, open-ended responses from adults were analysed using Thematic Analysis. Based on the pilot study, ironically enjoyed music was defined as “Music that is enjoyed because of being bad, despite being bad, or for different reasons than intended.” Although many relevant self-regulatory functions of listening to music in general were also relevant to ironically- enjoyed music, it also emerged that ironic enjoyment of music has characteristics that are unique to it: the additional role of mocking, ridiculing, and laughing at the music, and the social benefit that this provides. Music that was listened to “because of” its negative features had a variety of musical features, and the listening usually served functions unique to ironic enjoyment of music, such as mockery. When music was listened to “despite” negative qualities, the music itself was often described as having attractive rhythm, melody or lyrics, while the irony protected the listener from conflicting values associated with the music, helping the listener communicate to others that they did not identify with the music on a higher level. Unfamiliar music mainly played a social role, whereas familiar music related to nostalgia as well as most other functions.

Keywords:Self-regulation, mood, music, Identity, Ironic enjoyment
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C890 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:33991
Deposited On:16 Nov 2018 13:31

Repository Staff Only: item control page