Home › Forums › Autism Research › Musical strengths and emotion – Autistic adults for online research study
Tagged: emotion; music; autism
Matthew ScottParticipantJune 10, 2019 at 2:27 pmPost count: 1
Information and consent letter
Thank you so much for taking an interest in this research. If you are an autistic or non-autistic adult between 18-40 years old, English is your first language and you have no hearing, visual or intellectual difficulties, your participation would be hugely valuable to this study. To take part, all you need is access to a computer or laptop for roughly 35 minutes.
Research Outline – Musical Emotion Perception and Expression
The study aims to draw on an apparent strength amongst many autistic people – emotional understanding of and connection with music. Research by Rory Allen and Pam Heaton (2010) has focussed on the ways in which such abilities can be utilised, to help some autistic people whom have difficulties with certain aspects of empathy – such as processing and labelling an internal emotion, or linking an internal emotional state to a specific cue in someone else (Bird and Viding, 2014). Music may have the potential to act as a ‘tag’ for internal states – allowing links between these states and social-emotional cues to emotions in others. This research will focus on this potential – looking specifically at the mechanisms involved in perceiving and expressing musical emotions.
Who is the researcher?
I am currently studying on the Psychology of Education MSc programme at the University of Bristol. My research and experience have led me to believe that music has great potential for encouraging emotional understanding in people whom have some difficulties in comprehending emotions in themselves and in others.
What do I need to do?
If you consent to participation below, you will be redirected to the online study page on ‘Labvanced’ – a secure online research platform. The study involves completing 3 pre-requisite measures: AQ-50 (looking at aspects of autism), TAS-20 (focussing on alexithymia – difficulties comprehending and expressing emotions) and a music questionnaire asking about previous experience of the music stimuli used. These should take about 25 minutes to complete. At this point you will be able to either take a break, or continue to the experimental component, which will take approximately 10 minutes to complete – giving a combined total of about 35 minutes. You are under no obligation to take part and have the right to withdraw at any point up to completion of all the studies components. Doing so involves pressing a button that will be visible on the study page. Upon completing the study or withdrawing, you will be redirected to some debrief information, thanking you for taking part in any of the components and outlining again how to get in contact with the researcher. You will also be signposted to some more information on emotions, empathy and autism which you may choose to read if you like. The content of this study is not designed to cause distress, however if you experience an adverse reaction to any of the musical stimuli, or anticipate that this will occur, you are advised to withdraw from the study.
What will happen to the information I provide?
The only personal information required is your age, gender (you can choose not to say if you wish), email address (to remind you about the remaining components, should you choose to take a break in the middle) and whether you are an autistic or non-autistic participant. This information will be stored on a password protected hard-drive accessible only to the researcher, and will be deleted from both this hard-drive and the ‘Labvanced’ servers upon completion of the research in September. The results of the measures and experiments will be analysed and reported in a dissertation thesis. It is possible that this thesis will be published and there is also a possibility that the data collected may inform a subsequent journal article. You will be able to request an information sheet outlining key results and findings by emailing the researcher’s address below.
Contact information and complaints procedure
If you have any questions about the research either during or after the process, please do not hesitate to contact me, Matthew Scott at:
If you have any complaints about any aspect of the research, you may also contact my dissertation supervisor – Dr Felicity Sedgewick at:
You are under no obligation to take part, but if you are 18-40 years old, understand the statements above, and freely consent to participate in the study, follow the link below to get started!
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