Professional status matters: Differences in flow proneness between professional and amateur contemporary musicians

Rakei, Amy and Bhattacharya, Joydeep. 2024. Professional status matters: Differences in flow proneness between professional and amateur contemporary musicians. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, ISSN 1931-3896 [Article] (In Press)

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Abstract or Description

Achieving peak performance for musicians often requires getting into a state of flow. Experiencing this state depends on various genetic and environmental factors; however, the importance of one’s professional status in relation to flow remains unexplored. Therefore, we investigated the differences in flow proneness between professional and amateur musicians in a large sample (N = 664) of contemporary musicians. We found that professional musicians were significantly more flow prone in music than their amateur counterparts, and artists were significantly more flow prone than record producers. Further, professional musicians were more flow prone in their daily lives, suggesting a potential crossover effect of pursuing a flow-inducing activity to a professional level. Instrument, genre, and type of training did not influence flow proneness, and finally, trait anxiety was not significantly higher in professional musicians. Overall, this study highlights the positive consequences of pursuing music professionally and provides insight into the nuances of music professions that may influence flow proneness.

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© 2024, American Psychological Association. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the final, authoritative version of the article. Please do not copy or cite without authors' permission. The final article will be available, upon publication, via its DOI: 10.1037/aca0000674

Data Access Statement:

The data that support the findings of this study were part of a larger research project and are openly available in OSF


flow state; music; Csikszentmihalyi; individual differences; anxiety; professional musician; flow proneness

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27 November 2023Accepted
4 April 2024Published Online

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Date Deposited:

28 Nov 2023 09:56

Last Modified:

29 May 2024 15:17

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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