Self Representations and Music Performance Anxiety: A Study With Professional and Amateur Musicians

Claudia Castiglione, Alberto Rampullo, Silvia Cardullo


Individual, social and situational factors might play an important role on the experience of anxiety during musical performances. The present research focused on the relationship between self-representations, including musical self, and performance anxiety among a sample of Italian professional and amateur musicians (N = 100; age, M = 23.40, 50% females). We predicted that higher self-discrepancies (actual vs. future self) would be associated with higher performance anxiety in a musical setting (vs. a non musical one), via musical self, and only in professional musicians. The results confirmed our hypothesis. Higher discrepancies between actual and future self-representations were positively associated with higher performance anxiety levels via the musical self only in participants who play instruments at a professional level. Furthermore, musical self influenced performance anxiety levels in a music related setting (i.e., a concert) but not in a non musical one (i.e., an exam).


self-representations; musical performance; performance anxiety; proximity; semantic space

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