This research explores the role of musical preferences in guiding children’s social preferences: Do children take into account others’ musical preferences when making new friendships?
In this study, children ages 4-5 years are presented with pictures of two children on a computer screen. We play them the “favorite song” of each child on the screen. One of the songs is more familiar or likeable than the other. We then ask children which of the two children on the screen they would rather have as their friend. The same procedure is repeated 6 times with different pairs of pictures and songs.
With this study, we want to find out whether children’s social preferences (like their choice of friends) are influenced by their musical preferences. Do they choose the child who has a similar “taste” in music as their own?
This research may begin to shed light on the origins of music’s social functions, and the role music plays in forming one’s ethnic and social identity.
Learn about other research related to Conceptualizing Music and Art.
This research is conducted by the Laboratory for Developmental Studies at Harvard University