The Japanese Journal of Psychology
Online ISSN : 1884-1082
Print ISSN : 0021-5236
ISSN-L : 0021-5236
Review Article
Music-induced chills as a strong emotional experience
Kazuma MoriMakoto Iwanaga
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2014 Volume 85 Issue 5 Pages 495-509


While enjoying music and other works of art, people sometimes experience “chills,” a strong emotional response characterized by a sensation of goose bumps or shivers. Such experiences differ from having goose bumps as a defense response or from shivering in reaction to cold temperatures. The current paper presents the phenomenon of music-induced chills and reviews the chill-related emotional response, autonomic nervous system activity, and brain activity. It also reviews the musico-acoustic features, listening contexts, and individual differences that cause chills. Based on the review, we propose a hypothetical model regarding the evocation of music-induced chills. Furthermore, we investigate the strong emotional response associated with chills by exploring the relationship between music-related chills and non-music-related chills, and discuss future research directions.

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© 2014 The Japanese Psychological Association
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