The Role of Trait and State Absorption in the Enjoyment of Music
AuthorHall, SE; Schubert, E; Wilson, SJ
Source TitlePLoS One
PublisherPUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
AffiliationMelbourne School of Psychological Sciences
Fine Arts and Music
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsHall, S. E., Schubert, E. & Wilson, S. J. (2016). The Role of Trait and State Absorption in the Enjoyment of Music. PLOS ONE, 11 (11), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0164029.
Access StatusOpen Access
Little is known about the role of state versus trait characteristics on our enjoyment of music. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of state and trait absorption upon preference for music, particularly preference for music that evokes negative emotions. The sample consisted of 128 participants who were asked to listen to two pieces of self-selected music and rate the music on variables including preference and felt and expressed emotions. Participants completed a brief measure of state absorption after listening to each piece, and a trait absorption inventory. State absorption was strongly positively correlated with music preference, whereas trait absorption was not. Trait absorption was related to preference for negative emotions in music, with chi-square analyses demonstrating greater enjoyment of negative emotions in music among individuals with high trait absorption. This is the first study to show that state and trait absorption have separable and distinct effects on a listener's music experience, with state characteristics impacting music enjoyment in the moment, and trait characteristics influencing music preference based on its emotional content.
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