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Musical and Non-Musical Involvement in Daily Life: The Case of Absorption

Herbert, Ruth (2012) Musical and Non-Musical Involvement in Daily Life: The Case of Absorption. Musicae Scientiae, 16 (1). pp. 41-66. ISSN 1029-8649. (doi:10.1177/1029864911423161) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:53359)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1029864911423161

Abstract

The construct of absorption (effortless engagement) has been the subject of a small number of disciplinespecific

studies of involvement, including music. This paper reports the results of an empirical project

that compared psychological qualities of absorption in everyday music listening scenarios with

characteristics of non-music-related involvement. Absorption was located in “real-world” settings, and

experiences across different activities in a variety of contexts were tapped as soon as possible after they

occurred. The inquiry was designed to test two assumptions that have underpinned previous absorption

research: first, that certain activities are inherently particularly absorbing; second, that absorption is best

conceptualized primarily as a trait as opposed to a state. Twenty participants kept diaries for two weeks,

recording descriptions of involving experiences of any kind. Eight weeks after submitting descriptive

reports they completed the Modified Tellegen Absorption Scale (Jamieson, 2005). Diaries indicated that

different activities shared a subset of involving features, and confirmed the importance of multi-sensory

perception and the imaginative faculty to absorbed experiences. Music may be a particularly effective

agent in the facilitation of absorption because it affords multiple potential entry points to involvement

(acoustic attributes, source specification, entrainment, emotion, fusion of modalities) and because its

semantic malleability makes it adaptable to a variety of circumstances. The MODTAS provided insufficient

evidence for establishing correlations between state and trait absorption. It is argued that state and trait

divisions are constructs that are inherently problematic.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/1029864911423161
Uncontrolled keywords: absorption, everyday listening, phenomenology, trance
Subjects: H Social Sciences
M Music and Books on Music
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
Depositing User: Ruth Herbert
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2015 12:37 UTC
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2021 10:22 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/53359 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Herbert, Ruth: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7878-9991
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