However, the specific way with which people react to any given experience varies immensely. Indeed, while one person might be feel intensely about a given stimulus, another person might feel barely anything at all. At an anecdotal level, this might appear obvious – but the actual reasons for the divergence are quite hazy.
In seeking an answer, the authors of the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience paper turned their attention to music. They claimed that the artform was a perfect focus for the study, given its significance within people’s lives. Indeed, in their own words, they write, “[music] is often reported as one of the most enjoyable of human experiences.”
The researchers undertook their study by examining a group of 20 people, each of whom listened to six excerpts of songs. Three of these tunes were among each specific person’s most favored songs and the other three were less significant. The test subjects knew the latter three tunes, yet they did not affect them to the same degree as the former.