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Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Psychologists identify why certain songs get stuck in your head


If you ever find yourself singing along to a pop song for hours on end, you know how difficult it can be to get a catchy tune out of your head.

Now, psychologists believe they have figured out exactly why certain songs tend to stick in our heads more than others. The phenomenon is called involuntary musical imagery (INMI) — more commonly known as “earworms.”

Earworms are an extremely common phenomenon and an example of spontaneous cognition,” the study’s lead author, Kelly Jakubowski, PhD, of Durham University in the U.K., told CBS News. “Psychologists know that humans spend up to 40 percent of our days engaging in spontaneous cognition and are starting to try to understand why our brains spend so much time thinking thoughts unrelated to our present task and how such thoughts might be useful.”

The research, published in the academic journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Art, found that earworms are usually faster tunes with a fairly generic and easy-to-remember melody. They also tend to have some additional unique characteristics that set them apart from other songs.

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