Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #409
Music and Psychological Flexibility: Data from Empirical Studies and Directions for Future Research
Monday, May 25, 2015
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Texas Ballroom Salon C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Garret M Cantu (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Discussant: Maureen Flynn (University of Texas-Pan American)
Abstract: Although music is present in the daily lives of millions of individuals, knowledge about the multiple effects and functions of music is incomplete. The current symposium presents two different empirical studies on music and psychological flexibility conducted at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The first talk will present data from a correlational study, examining the relationship between various musical preferences and psychological flexibility. Subjects responded to several music-related questions with respect to multiple genres of music, as well as filling out the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire – Second edition (AAQ-II). The second talk will present results from a music-related experiment conducted at UL Lafayette. This study will examine whether distraction-based coping strategies as opposed to acceptance-based coping strategies will predict levels of psychological discomfort when depressed mood is induced followed by the presentation of depression-inducing musical tracks. Data will also be collected from the AAQ-II to assess whether previous measured psychological inflexibility could also predict the dependent variables. Both of the presentations in this symposium are intended to spark discussion and future studies in psychological music research.
Keyword(s): experiential avoidance, music preference, psychological flexibility
Looking for Musical Connections: Exploratory Data on Music Preferences and Psychological Flexibility.
ERIC BAQUET (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), David R. Perkins (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: The way that music interacts with the individual lives of listeners may vary as a function of musical genre, and may at different times evoke either greater psychological flexibility or inflexibility. This study is an early attempt at exploring these questions, as well as providing general descriptive data that may facilitate future research designs. In this study, participants were asked to rate 31 music genres (e.g. Heavy Metal) on a 1-10 scale for six different questions. For example, the sixth question asks the participant “On a scale of 1-10, would you be interested in listening to something new from this type of music?” To examine possible relationships with general psychological flexibility, subjects were also asked to complete the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire – Second edition (AAQ-II). Based on early data, no strong correlation was detected between AAQ-II scores and any of the six questions averaged across genre. More in-depth analysis of the complete data set will be reported in this presentation, including specific relationships between genre and psychological flexibility, as well as implications for future research.
The Effects of Emotional Avoidance on the Behavior of the Listener of Evocative Music
BRENTON ABADIE (Eastern Michigan University), David R. Perkins (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Eric Baquet (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Garret M Cantu (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Gino Vallecillo (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: Experiential avoidance is a concept that has been the focus of clinical and theoretical interest to clinical behavior analysis for decades. It has been described as "the tendency to alter the type, length, or occurrence of negative private events (thoughts, feelings, memories, somatic sensations, etc.) and the situations in which they may occur" (Gird & Zettle, 2009, p. 537), and has been proposed as a possible underlying factor of numerous psychological problems and subjective distress. Recent research has investigated the possible relationship of emotional avoidance to the subjective experience of physical pain, uncomfortable perceptual experience, and dysphoric mood. While these studies have shed some light on the effects of emotional avoidance, additional research may be helpful to investigate how it may impact the experience of, and response to, complex psychological events. One specific possible direction may be a precise and thorough study of the effects of emotional avoidance on the behavior of the listener of evocative music. Pilot data suggests that there is a meaningful effect of music listening on the self-reported experience of depression in participants. These results are as yet not significant, but more complete data shall be included in our discussion.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh