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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new study has found that music lyrics are becoming angrier and sadder over time. Researchers at Lawrence Technological University analyzed popular music lyrics from the 1950s to 2016, which led to the discovery.
The study, titled “Quantitative Sentiment Analysis of Lyrics in Popular Music,” examined more than 6,000 songs from the Billboard Hot 100 in every year in those decades.
Researchers noted that the Billboard Hot 100 has been traditionally ranked by popularity measurements such as record sales and radio broadcasting of a song. Some factors have changed in the years to account for streaming and social media mentions in more recent years.
“The results show that anger, disgust, fear, sadness, and conscientiousness have increased significantly, while joy, confidence, and openness expressed in pop song lyrics have declined,” researchers wrote.
The study was published in the Journal of Popular Music Studies in December.