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Abstract

The primary research question for the study was, “Will older adult amateur musicians’ personality profiles reflect the traits found in professional musicians?” Participants (N = 58, ages 52 to 79) recruited from a New Horizons Institute “band camp” for older adult amateur musicians completed a musical background questionnaire and the Cattell (1993) Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire, Fifth Edition (16PF) on their own time during the five-day camp. Group scores for all the 16PF primary and global factor scores were within expected ranges for a normal population of adults, although Factor B (Reasoning) was noticeably higher and Factors E (Dominance), F (Liveliness) and L (Vigilance) were noticeably lower, as was the global factor IN (Independence). This suggests that this sample “leans” toward being more accommodating (IN-), deferential (E-), serious (F-), trusting (L-), and thinking more abstractly (B+) than adults in Cattell’s normative population. The 16 primary and five secondary factors were analyzed using a gender by experience (2 x 2) MANOVA, revealing a significant gender by experience interaction, which was the impetus for follow-up univariate analyses. Three primary factors showed significant between-group differences: L (Vigilance), N (Privateness), and Q1 (Open to Change). Male newcomers were more trusting (L-) and disclosing (N-), although the opposite tendencies were found for male returnees (individuals whose instruments were the ones they had played in high school or college). Female returnees were more open to change than male returnees. A 2 x 2 chi-square analysis of gender by experience revealed that older adult females were more likely to begin a new instrument than were men.


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