Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Zoe Oxley




emotions, music, politics, ideology, conflict, war, terrorism


Can music, when applied to an emotional political event, induce emotions affecting political attitudes? To examine this topic, I created a slideshow using images of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 set to sad, angry, happy, or no music. All 99 participants were each placed in one of these four conditions, and anonymously answered questions regarding their emotions, political attitudes, and personalities following the slideshow. The music I used did not conclusively affect the emotional states or political attitudes of the participants. However, I found many interesting trends. For example, the sad music produced the most sad participants, and the angry music produced the most angry participants. Similarly, participants who felt less angry tended to oppose the War in Iraq, as did participants who felt more comfortable. I also found that those in the sad condition tended to approve of the War in Afghanistan. While these findings were not all statistically significant, the trends are suggestive. Rather than music, the most conclusive factors I found in determining a person’s political attitudes were his or her political affiliations and ideologies.