The Famous Melodies Stimulus Set
Famous musical melodies, such as “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and “Hot Cross Buns,” are frequently used in psychological research. Such melodies have been used to assess the degree of cognitive impairments in various neurological disorders, and to investigate differences between “naming” vs. “knowing.” Despite their utility as an experimental stimulus, there is currently no standardized, openly available set of famous musical melodies based on a United States population, as prior work on the topic has primarily relied on creating stimuli in an ad hoc manner. Therefore, the goal of the present work was to create a set of famous musical melodies. Here, we describe the development of the Famous Melodies Stimulus Set, a set of 107 melodies. We provide normative data for the melodies on five dimensions: familiarity, age of acquisition, emotional valence, emotional arousal, and naming ability. Participants (N = 397) rated the melodies on these five variables, validating that most melodies were highly familiar and reliably named. While familiarity ratings were skewed, all other rating scales covered a relatively broad range, allowing for researchers to select melodies for future work based on particular attributes.
Belfi, A. M., & Kacirek, K. (2020). The Famous Melodies Stimulus Set. Behavior Research Methods Springer.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-020-01411-6
Keywords and Phrases
Arousal; Familiarity; Music; Naming; Valence
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Journal
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17 Jun 2020