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Thanks to technology, we can now access many kinds of music at any time, and carefully curate not just our playlist but our very identities. How is this instant availability changing the way we consume music, and how is music technology shaping our lives?

Dr Adrian North heads the School of Psychology at Curtin University and researches the social and applied psychology of music. His research concerns music and well-being in both specific and the general populations, in areas such as using digital music in everyday life to improve mood; the impact of music on consumer behaviour and theories behind musical preference and taste.

In this episode, Dr Adrian North answers these questions and more, delving into streaming services, taste-setters, why music recommendation algorithms are so inaccurate, and how musical trends can predict stock market turbulence, gross national product and even a recession.

  • Does instant gratification in music have psychological benefits? [02:49]
  • Which variables influence musical tastes? [05:55]
  • Why recommendation algorithms are getting it wrong and how your phone could help [15:20]
  • How music can predict a nation’s mood and economy [24:48]
  • The death of the genre [31:10]


North’s research:

Related articles:

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Curtin University supports academic freedom of speech. The views expressed in The Future Of podcast may not reflect those of the University.

Music: OKAY by 13ounce Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0 Music promoted by Audio Library

You can read the full transcript for the episode here.