The relationship between musical sophistication, executive functions and autistic traits

Chee, Zhong Jian (2023) The relationship between musical sophistication, executive functions and autistic traits. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham Malaysia.

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The overarching goal of this thesis is to examine how musical sophistication and/or specific dimension of musical sophistication are related to autistic traits, EF and quality of life in the general population. Chapters 2 and 3 focus on validating the AQ as the AQ was used throughout the studies of the thesis. Chapter 2 investigated whether language influences the response to the AQ among multilingual Malaysians. Specifically, participants’ responses to the AQ in their native language and English were compared. Chapter 3 examined the psychometric properties of an abridged version of the AQ (i.e., AQ-28) in the Dutch and Malaysian general population, and whether the autistic traits as measured by the AQ-28 are comparable between Dutch and Malaysian participants. Chapter 4 investigated if autistic traits would be associated with certain music preferences after controlling for other factors (e.g., age, gender, personality traits and musical ability) that are known to influence music preferences. Chapter 5 explored if listening to preferred music would improve the performance on EF tasks compared to relaxing music and silence and whether autistic traits and EDA are associated with the performance on EF tasks. The relationship between autistic traits, musical sophistication, EF, and quality of life was examined in Chapter 6.

The current thesis demonstrates that greater musical sophistication is associated with better EF, and in turn, better quality of life. Active engagement in the form of music listening, however, does not seem to influence EF. Higher autistic traits are associated with poorer quality of life and a reduced preference for Contemporary music. Arousal seems not elevated in response to self-selected music and not associated with EF and autistic traits. Results concerning psychometric properties of AQ, music preference, personality and music listening on cognitive performance do not fully replicate previous findings from the Western contexts.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: de Vries, Marieke
Leung, Yvonne
Keywords: autistic traits, executive functions, musical sophistication, autism spectrum quotient, cross-cultural
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculties/Schools: University of Nottingham, Malaysia > Faculty of Science and Engineering — Science > School of Psychology
Item ID: 72331
Depositing User: Chee, Zhong Jian
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2023 04:40
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2023 04:40

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