Attractive People Make Better Music? How Gender and Perceived Attractiveness Affect the Evaluation of Electronic Dance Music Artists

Julian Schaap*, Michaël Berghman, Thomas Calkins

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

We employ a cognitive sociological perspective to empirically assess how the evaluation of music fragments – electronic dance music (EDM) in particular – is affected by the perceived attractiveness of a DJ, in relation to their gender. Using a survey experiment based on randomized vignettes within a sample of the US population (n = 2710), in which respondents evaluate music fragments randomly paired with images of DJs, we assess to what extent music evaluations are affected by artists’ 1) gender, 2) perceived attractiveness, and 3) the interaction between these traits (while controlling for race/ethnicity and respondent characteristics). We find a strong positive relationship between artists’ perceived attractiveness and how ‘their’ music is evaluated. While this is true regardless of DJ gender, attractiveness benefits male artists slightly more than female artists. These findings provide further empirical support for the notion that audiences include non-musical traits about artists in music evaluation processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-303
Number of pages20
JournalEmpirical Studies of the Arts
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.

Research programs

  • ESHCC A&CS

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