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Determinants and Norms of Absorption in Music

Determinants and Norms of Absorption in Music

Name:Harley Glassman

School/Affiliation:Toronto Metropolitan University

Co-Authors:Tara Raessi, Sean Gilmore and Frank Russo

Virtual or In-person:In-person


The Absorption in Music Scale (AIMS) is a 34-item questionnaire designed to measure one’s inclination for engagement with music. It demonstrates strong psychometric properties including internal consistency, temporal reliability, and convergent validity with the Tellegen Absorption scale. Items from the scale have also been integrated as a facet of the extended Barcelona Music Reward Questionnaire (eBMRQ), a scale designed to measure sensitivity to musical reward. The present study examined AIMS scores and related demographic data drawn from three independent samples (N = 470). The samples were drawn from two countries and varied with respect to distribution of gender, age, and music training. AIMS scores were negatively correlated with age and positively correlated with years of musical training. In addition, AIMS scores were higher for females than males. All three demographic variables were regressed onto AIMS score as the dependent measure. All demographic variables were found to be significant, suggesting that their effects on AIMS are additive. In addition, point estimates for quintiles of the distribution of AIMS scores were determined. These findings may provide guidance for researchers who are interested in pre-selecting participants with high or low absorption. Future work may assess the relationship between musical trait absorption as measured by AIMS and musical state absorption. We would expect that individuals falling into the highest quintile of trait absorption may be more likely to show high state absorption for music selections, regardless of whether they find the music to be rewarding. In contrast, individuals falling into the lowest quintile of trait absorption may only show high state absorption for music that they find rewarding.

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