RESEARCH PAPER
Personality traits in musicians
 
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1
Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Outpatient Treatment, Department Kongsvinger, Akershus University Hospitality Trust, Norway
2
Department of Psychology, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences – INN University, Norway
Submission date: 2020-04-24
Final revision date: 2020-06-06
Acceptance date: 2020-07-06
Online publication date: 2020-06-30
Publication date: 2020-07-20
 
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2020;8(2):100–107
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background:
Performing music is a complex creative activity which in addition to professional skills requires phantasy, a sense of aesthetics, cognitive involvement, intellectual curiosity, perceptual sensitivity, mental flexibility, but also discipline, motor precision and speed, attention endurance, emotional expression and communication. Many of these characteristics are also reflected in person-ality traits such as Openness, Extraversion, Conscientiousness and to some degree Neuroticism. Previous research has investi-gated the differences between personality traits amongst musicians, but there are few studies that compare personality character-istics between musicians and non-musicians.

Participants and procedure:
Using the Ten-Item Personality Measure (TIPI) the present study investigated Big Five personality traits in a sample of musi-cians (n = 509) compared to non-musicians (n = 201).

Results:
Controlled for gender and age, the findings demonstrated that musicians had significantly higher scores on Openness and lower scores on Conscientiousness compared with non-musicians. There were no significant differences between the groups in Extra-version, Agreeableness and Emotional Stability-Neuroticism. The differences were larger for Openness than for Conscientious-ness.

Conclusions:
Musicians seem to differ from non-musicians in two traits: somewhat lower scores on Conscientiousness, and considerably higher scores in Openness to experience. Thus, Openness seems to be the most typical personality trait for musicians. There were no significant differences in Extraversion, Agreeableness or Emotional Stability (Neuroticism) between the two groups. These results suggest that musicians are more creative and openminded than non-musicians.

 
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