Sat, Dec 10, 2016 | updated 12:51 AM IST

Spooky background music giving sharks unfair rap

Updated: Aug 05, 2016 12:45 IST

Washington D.C, Aug 5 (ANI): Sharks have been viewed as vicious beings for decades and now, a team of researchers are blaming that scary, ominous music accompanying them onscreen for this unfair stigma.

Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego found that the background music in shark documentaries affects viewers' perceptions of sharks.

The researchers suggest that ominous background music could hinder shark conservation efforts.

Scripps scientist Andrew Nosal and a colleague at Harvard University recruited over 2,000 online participants to share their attitudes toward sharks after watching a 60-second video clip of sharks swimming.

They compared the results of the participants who watched the clip set to ominous background music to those watching the same video clip set to uplifting background music, or silence.

Participants who viewed the video with ominous background music rated sharks more negatively than those who viewed the clip with uplifting music or no music.

"Given that nature documentaries are often regarded as objective and authoritative sources of information, it is critical that documentary filmmakers and viewers are aware of how the soundtrack can affect the interpretation of the educational content," said lead author Nosal.

The study is published in the journal PLOS ONE. (ANI)