Associations between Emotional Experience of Music and Expertise, Appreciation, and Absorption

Faculty Sponsor

Andrew Butler


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-23-2016


We investigated whether formally trained musicians have differential emotional responses to music than informally trained musicians, music appreciators, and non-musicians. Multiple surveys measured each participant’s musical background, level of music appreciation, and degree of absorption in music. They were then asked to listen to multiple short clips of music and indicate with a descriptive free response the character of their emotional experience to each clip. We also measured parameters such as each participant’s level of emotional intensity, valence, and familiarity for each. Results are discussed in terms of associations between these various individual difference measures and multiple measures of emotion.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Magen Hauser is a junior psychology major, music minor. She has been an active musician for 11 years and is pursuing a career in clinical psychology. Her hope is to combine her passion for the profession and her love of music to help and inspire others, and one way she is attempting to do this is through research. She has always enjoyed the intense emotional experiences that music gives her, and she came to wonder if her formal training in music contributes to those experiences.

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