Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Cornelia Yarbrough


It was the purpose of this study to examine the role of same- and other-group identification in musical preference decision-making and the relationship between preference decisions and attitude-oriented responses to hypothetical social encounters with same- and other-group members. Subjects were African-American (n = 189) and white (n = 280) sixth, seventh and eighth grade music students. To measure musical preference, each subject responded along a 9-point Likert scale to 10 instrumental music excerpts, five performed by African-American jazz artists and five performed by white jazz artists. The examples were presented according to one of three conditions: (1) music only, (2) music accompanied by a photograph of the performer or (3) music accompanied by a photograph of a different performer. Using material adapted from McCrary (1992), attitude responses were also collected using a 9-point Likert scale by which subjects expressed either agreement or disagreement with 16 hypothetical situations in which they interacted with a member of their own or another ethnic group. Preference results indicated that white subjects preferred examples by white performers regardless of the presentation condition. African-American students preferred examples by white performers when presented with the music alone, but preferred examples believed to be by African-American performers under the two musical/visual conditions. Attitude results demonstrated a preference for same-group encounters by both groups of subjects. However, none of the mean scores indicated a negative response toward the other ethnic group. No statistical relationship was found between preference and attitude scores.