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Psychology in Popular Music

As someone who enjoys all kinds of music, I often listen for the psychological truths or fallacies in pop song lyrics. Sometimes a song might raise questions about some aspect of human behavior, sometimes a song might illustrate some important concept in psychology, and sometimes a song might offer astute and helpful advice. Over the years, I have collected a number of pop songs (with the help of students, colleagues, and friends) that strike me as being psychologically provocative. When discussing an issue in a psychology class or workshop, often a song is a fun way of introducing the topic and starting a discussion.

On my Psychology in the Arts & Media page, I’ve listed pop songs that I find psychologically provocative and that raise questions about human nature. I’ve included the concepts in psychology to which the song most clearly relates, and some of my questions about and reactions to the song. Where available, I have included YouTube URLs that play the song and display the lyrics.

Check out my list…

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