A new study undertaken by the University of Minnesota has suggested that listening to mainstream rock music can make people ‘racist’.
Researchers played a host of different music genres to 138 students for seven minutes. The students were then told they were part of a study to work out how funds should be distributed within their college. Then they were offered a range of different ethnic groups to divide the money between, reports the Daily Mail.
Apparently, after listening to mainstream rock music like Bruce Springsteen, the white students favoured other white students in regards to sharing college funds, over black and Latino students. Meanwhile, the white students who had listened to more ethnically diverse pop, including Akon and Gwen Stefani, were fairer towards other ethnic groups.
Heather LaMarre, assistant professor of journalism and mass communication at the University of Minnesota said of the study: “Rock music is generally associated with white Americans, so we believe it cues white listeners to think about their positive association with their own in-group.”
Associate professor Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick added: “Music has a lot of power to influence our thoughts and actions, more than we often recognise. It has the power to reinforce our positive biases toward our own group, and sometimes negative biases toward others.”
After listening to the background music, with no phones or reading material as a distraction, the participants were asked how their tuition money should be distributed amongst the Centres of African American Studies, Latino American Studies, Arab American Studies, and Rural and Agricultural Studies.
The participants who listened to the mainstream rock gave 35% of the money to the white American group and equal amounts to the others, while those who listened to chart pop split the money equally.