New research suggests that if you get people to pay attention to music with lyrics about helping people, they'll be more likely to help people. A Psychology Today blog has the juicy details.
Makes me wonder if I've been too subtle in my attempts at musical persuasion. I've written a few prosocial songs, to use the social psych lingo, but never anything that comes out and says, "Hey, be nicer to people! Right now!"
The study only compared neutral songs to those that blatantly call for help. They'd need to do further research to find out if a less blatant approach works too. I hope it does. Because otherwise, I'm going to have to try my hand at a "be nicer to people" song, and I don't know how to do that without sounding like a public service announcement.