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Title: A reaction time investigation of absolute pitch
Author: Refaat, Malik
ISNI:       0000 0004 5360 8634
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2014
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Absolute Pitch (AP) is the ability to identify a musical note without the use of an external reference. The literature focusses on the accuracy of AP possessors and not on reaction times (RTs) in identifying musical notes. Investigating RT differences between observers with and without AP will further our understanding of the processes involved in AP. This thesis aimed to investigate the RTs of AP possessors and provide a new account of the cognitive mechanisms involved in AP. Three studies were conducted. The first was a tone identification study which was designed to identify RT profiles for AP possessors in comparison to non-AP possessors (NAP possessors).This study was designed to show that AP possessors were quicker and more accurate than NAP possessors in tone identification and that they identified each note of a chromatic scale with varying degrees of difficulty. The RT profile indicates that some notes are identified quicker than others and a relative process was used to identify some notes. The second was an interval identification study which was designed to identify the strategy used by AP possessors in interval identification to identify if an AP or RP strategy was used. The results showed intervals were identified with a similar RT profile to tones indicating a relative process used for both notes and interval identification. The data from these two studies was used to construct the first formal model of absolute pitch (the Multiple Reference Pitch Model) which provides an explanation of AP using three reference points and a relative strategy. The third study aimed to test this model by inducing anchors into participants and developing a sense of relative judgment. Further directions and limitations are discussed in the final chapter. These include the use of a case study design with only three participants and further applications of the model in other domains in Psychology.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Warwick
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; M Music