Getting goose bumps from listening to a random song, has definitely happened to everyone. But why is this happening and what is it called?
This abnormality is called frisson and is a trembling sensation felt by more than half of the global population as an emotional response.
In a piece, Michael Colver wrote on the Conversation, he explains that music is the most frequent activator, however it’s not uncommon to feel frisson from looking at art, a film or simply from touching a person. But, being captivated by music, resulted in a higher probability of undergoing frisson.
He continues to explain that a study was conducted to detect if frisson is connected to personality types. Researchers choose songs with at least one climatic moment that might trigger frisson from artists like Chopin, Air Supply, Hans Zimmer and others. They attached a machine to the participants to determine skin reactions and gave them a personality test.
The researchers came to a conclusion that those that had a characteristic called ‘openness to experience’ were more susceptible to get frisson.
As Colver explains, these people are thrill seekers, with wild imaginations and have deep awareness about their emotions. Besides, what they uncovered was that it’s not only the emotional side that is relevant as a cause for frisson, but a combination with the cognitive. The feeling is enhanced when the person starts to paint a mental picture stimulated by the song.
In other words, those who actually listen to music, to the level of being hypnotized by it, have a higher probability to feel frisson.
Have you ever experienced frisson and what song caused it?