The present study has investigated the minimal-distance hypothesis in music (Langlois & Roggman, 1990; Repp, 1997) by replicating Repp's original study (1997) on the aesthetic quality of an averaged performance—compared to individual interpretations—of Robert Schumann's Träumerei (Op. 15, No. 7). Participants (N = 205) came from Germany and Taiwan and made up a convenience sample representing different degrees of musical sophistication. We used a 2 × 4 mixed methods design that compared the country of data collection (between factor) and the four selected interpretations (within factor). The dependent variable was a unidimensional construct describing the musical quality, which was developed with an exploratory factor analysis followed by a probabilistic item analysis. It was found that the evaluation of Taiwanese and German participants did not differ, but the ratings for the various interpretations successfully replicated Repp's results: The average performance was rated better than the individual performances, and the lowest rated performance from the original study was rated lowest in this replication as well (large effect size). The confirmation of this central effect in music perception research might be an incentive for further replication studies in music psychology.
Tendency Towards the Average? The Aesthetic Evaluation of a Quantitatively Average Music Performance: A Successful Replication of Repp's (1997) Study
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Anna Wolf, Reinhard Kopiez, Friedrich Platz, Hsin-Rui Lin, Hanna Mütze; Tendency Towards the Average? The Aesthetic Evaluation of a Quantitatively Average Music Performance: A Successful Replication of Repp's (1997) Study. Music Perception 1 September 2018; 36 (1): 98–108. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/mp.2018.36.1.98
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