Mental control of musical imagery: combining behavioral and experience-sampling approaches

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Katherine N. Cotter (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Paul Silvia

Abstract: Mental control of musical imagery is a complex, but understudied, process that consists of two components: initiation—whether the musical imagery experience began voluntarily or involuntarily—and management—whether instances of control occur after the experience has begun (e.g., changing the song, stopping the experience). The present research examined these two components of mental control using both behavioral lab-based musical imagery tasks and self-reports of mental control in daily life using experience sampling methods. Both music students and members of the general university community participated. This project had four primary aims: (1) examining the relationship between initiation and management of musical imagery; (2) assessing how mental control abilities differ as a function of stimulus type; (3) describing perceptions of initiation and management in daily life; and (4) evaluating how well performance on lab-based behavioral tasks aligns with self-reported mental control in daily life. The findings suggest that initiation and management abilities are closely related, people perform equivalently when asked to control tonal stimuli and song stimuli, people generally report the ability to control musical imagery in daily life, and self-report and behavioral assessments of mental control of musical imagery show a modest association. These findings have implications for current understandings of control of musical imagery and identify several avenues for future research.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Auditory Imagery, Experience-Sampling Methods, Mental Control, Musical imagery
Music $x Psychological aspects
Musical perception

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