PURPOSE: The current study was aimed at understanding the patterns in the social representation of loud music reported by young adults in different countries.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study included a sample of 534 young adults (18-25 years) from India, Iran, Portugal, United Kingdom, and United States. Participants were recruited using a convince sampling, and data were collected using the free association task. Participants were asked to provide up to five words or phrases that come to mind when thinking about “loud music.” The data were first analyzed using the qualitative content analysis. This was followed by quantitative cluster analysis and chi-square analysis.
RESULTS: The content analysis suggested 19 main categories of responses related to loud music. The cluster analysis resulted in for main clusters, namely: (1) emotional oriented perception; (2) problem oriented perception; (3) music and enjoyment oriented perception; and (4) positive emotional and recreation-oriented perception. Country of origin was associated with the likelihood of participants being in each of these clusters.
CONCLUSION: The current study highlights the differences and similarities in young adults’ perception of loud music. These results may have implications to hearing health education to facilitate healthy listening habits.