Music is one of the most pleasant human experiences, even though it has no direct biological advantage. However little is known about individual differences in how people experience reward in music-related activities. The goal of the present study was to describe the main facets of music experience that could explain the variance observed in how people experience reward associated with music. To this end we developed the Barcelona Music Reward Questionnaire (BMRQ), which was administrated to three large samples. Our results showed that the musical reward experience can be decomposed into five reliable factors: Musical Seeking, Emotion Evocation, Mood Regulation, Social Reward, and Sensory-Motor. These factors were correlated with socio-demographic factors and measures of general sensitivity to reward and hedonic experience. We propose that the five-factor structure of musical reward experience might be very relevant in the study of psychological and neural bases of emotion and pleasure associated to music.
- Received June 27, 2012.
- Accepted March 1, 2013.
- © 2013 by The Regents of the University of California