Re: Earworms

From: Olivier Driessens (
Date: Mon 03 Mar 2003 - 23:18:33 GMT

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    last year I graduated at the University of Ghent (Belgium) in the communication sciences. I wrote a thesis about memetics: the main part was theoretical, but I also added a little research. This research, a survey, concerned what James Kellaris calls the 'Stuck Song Syndrome'. Tunes are often given as examples of memes, so I wanted to know if this is correct. It appeared it is. To give some of the results that are significant here:
    - everybody (students communication sciences and students at the conservatory) already had a tune stuck in his/her head that didn't want to disappear for some time
    - causes: more than 50% of the students have had these tunes because others sang/hummed/imitated them
    - and often these are not consciously heared
    - 'solutions': 16% of the students pass the songs through to others
    (and also often unconscious); 11% sings another song; 5% tells about it etc.

    Together with a professor I'm preparing an article to present the results of this research. For the moment, I'm no longer continuing the research itself because I'm studying sociology in Leuven.

    Greetings, Olivier Driessens

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