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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2011 Sep;37(9):1159-71. doi: 10.1177/0146167211407521. Epub 2011 May 4.

How shared preferences in music create bonds between people: values as the missing link.

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National Taiwan University, Department of Psychology, Taipei, Taiwan.


How can shared music preferences create social bonds between people? A process model is developed in which music preferences as value-expressive attitudes create social bonds via conveyed value similarity. The musical bonding model links two research streams: (a) music preferences as indicators of similarity in value orientations and (b) similarity in value orientations leading to social attraction. Two laboratory experiments and one dyadic field study demonstrated that music can create interpersonal bonds between young people because music preferences can be cues for similar or dissimilar value orientations, with similarity in values then contributing to social attraction. One study tested and ruled out an alternative explanation (via personality similarity), illuminating the differential impact of perceived value similarity versus personality similarity on social attraction. Value similarity is the missing link in explaining the musical bonding phenomenon, which seems to hold for Western and non-Western samples and in experimental and natural settings.

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