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The Representation of Altruistic and Egoistic Motivations in Popular Music Over 60 Years

Fri, May 26, 12:30 to 13:45, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Floor: 4 (Sapphire), Exhibit Hall - Rear


Content analyses examining the values expressed in popular music have been (1) focused on specific musical genres over limited spans of time and, perhaps more importantly, (2) based on a loosely defined set of pro- and anti-social behaviors that lack a comprehensive theoretical foundation. To address this, we applied a coding scheme based in the model of intuitive morality and exemplars (MIME; Tamborini, 2013) to examine altruistic and egoistic values exemplified children’s and adults’ popular music over the last 60 years. Findings show (1) more frequent representation of egoistic than altruistic motivations, and (2) the profusion of egoistic motivations focused mostly on romantic (in adult-targeted music) but also platonic (in child-targeted music) relationships.