An investigation of the effects of music on thematic apperception test (TAT) interpretations

Lana Carlton, Raymond MacDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated the effects of musical stimuli on Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) interpretations. Sixty participants created written interpretations of 8 TAT pictures. Twenty participants listened to music rated as having a positive emotional valence in a pilot study. 20 listened to music as having a negative emotional valence in a pilot study and a further 20 participants created TAT interpretations without musical stimulation. Results highlight that the emotional valence of background musical stimuli influenced the participants' interpretations of pictorial information. Specifically, the affective direction of participants' interpretations was found to be significantly related to the type of musical stimuli. Findings are discussed with reference to music and emotions literature highlighting the multifaceted way in which music impacts aspects of daily life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-31
Number of pages22
JournalMusicae Scientiae
Publication statusPublished - 2004


Dive into the research topics of 'An investigation of the effects of music on thematic apperception test (TAT) interpretations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this