Ronald S. Friedman

Ronald S. Friedman

Professor, Undergraduate Director
Department of Psychology
CV241.87 KB


Social Sciences 389
Ron Friedman

Areas of Interest: My primary area of interest is the psychology of music. This interdisciplinary field brings together scholars in the humanities as well as the social and natural sciences to address an intriguing issue: How is it that abstract patterns of sounds stir us to laughter or tears, elicit chills, compel our bodies to move, communicate emotions, and above all, make us feel so good? Over the last several years, I have immersed myself in this area of study, conducting research to help address some of the most fundamental questions in the field, including:

Why do some combinations of tones sound more pleasant than others?

Why do certain collections of tones sound sadder than others?

How does sadness influence music choice?

How do timing variations influence music preference and musical emotion?

Specific Areas of Interest:

Origins of Consonance/Dissonance

Musical Communication of Emotion

Social Psychology of Music

Timing Variations and Musical Emotion


Representative Publications

Song, S., Kowalewski, D. A., & Friedman, R. S. (2022). Preference for harmony: A link between aesthetic responses to combinations of colors and musical tones. Psychomusicology: Music, Mind, and Brain, 32, 33–45.

Friedman, R. S., Kowalewski, D., Vuvan, D.T., & Neill, W. T. (2021). Consonance preferences within an unconventional tuning system. Music Perception, 38, 313-330..

Kowalewski, D., Kratzer, T., & Friedman, R. S. (2020). Social music: Investigating the link between personal liking and perceived groove. Music Perception, 37, 339-346.

Friedman, R. S. (2019). Exploring the impact of continual drones on perceived musical emotion. Psychomusicology: Music, Mind, & Brain, 29, 171-179.

Kowalewski, D. A., Friedman, R. S., Zavoyskiy, S., & Neill, W. T. (2019). A reinvestigation of the source dilemma hypothesis. Music Perception, 36, 448-456.

Demarco, T.C., & Friedman, R. S. (2018). Reality-based sadness induction fosters affect-congruency in music preference. Psychomusicology: Music, Mind, and Brain, 28, 260-266.

Friedman, R. S. (2018). Reexploring the effects of relative pitch cues on perceived sadness in an unconventionally tuned musical scale. Psychomusicology: Music, Mind, and Brain, 28, 108-116.

Friedman, R. S. (2018). Final ritardandi and the expression of musical emotion. Music Perception, 36, 53-59.

Friedman, R. S., Neill, W. T., Seror, G. A., & Kleinsmith, A. L. (2018). Average pitch height and perceived emotional expression within an unconventional tuning system. Music Perception, 35, 518-523.