Why are some people more attracted to sad music than others?

Negative emotion in music can be enjoyed when the listener is in a dissociative state (Schubert, 2013). A dissociative state (absorption) is considered adaptive as it allows the listener to enjoy a wide range of experiences such as negative emotions without the ‘pain’ associated with negative emotions such as those brought about via rumination. Moreover, the ability to dissociate pain centre activation in aesthetic contexts also facilitates imaginative propensity. The limits of this ability to free oneself cognitively maybe limited by one’s imagination.

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