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Journal Article

Zoning-in or tuning-in? Identifying distinct absorption states in response to music


Vroegh,  Thijs P.
Department of Music, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Max Planck Society;

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Vroegh, T. P. (2019). Zoning-in or tuning-in? Identifying distinct absorption states in response to music. Psychomusicology: Music, Mind, and Brain, 29(2-3), 156-170. doi:10.1037/pmu0000241.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-A267-0
Intense listening to music is often linked with profound changes in mental states, including absorption. Despite its omnipresence, few empirical studies have provided a phenomenological profile analysis of these altered states, clarifying how the associated features of visual imagery and emotions are potentially linked within a broader network of musical consciousness. The study’s aim was to gain insight in the structure and configuration of consciousness when being absorbed while listening to music, accounting for potentially different types of absorption. To this end, participants listened to a preferred musical piece and directly afterward filled in the Tellegen Absorption Scale and Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory, the latter used as state questionnaire in an online survey. Results indicated that highly susceptible individuals were clustered in two different types of absorption that, corresponding to the mind wandering literature, were interpreted as zoning-in and tuning-in. These profiles were notably distinct in degree of meta-awareness and in their unique bondings of imagery and emotions with other dimensions of consciousness. The difference between mixed and positive emotions was suggested to be one cause for the different absorption profiles. The findings provide a basis from which to understand how trance-related experiences with music are the outcome of cognition and affect interacting. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)