The relationship between reflective rumination and musical ability

Meghan E. Jones, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Michael M. Roy Dr., North-West University
Jay Verkuilen, The Doctorate-Granting Institution of the City University of New York


Rumination has primarily been described as maladaptive due to its relation with depression. However, rumination has also been associated with artistic creativity. Higher levels of rumination in musicians may be associated with ability because the repetitive thought style in rumination may mirror the repetitive practice required to succeed as a musician. The current study examined reflective and brooding rumination in relation to depression in musicians and nonmusicians. Results indicated that musicians exhibited higher levels of reflective rumination than nonmusicians and that, within musicians, reflective rumination was related to certain aspects of musical performance. The current findings indicate that having a reflective ruminative thought style is predictive of musical performance. © 2014 American Psychological Association.