Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Physical Education

First Advisor

Erik Lind, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Katherine M. Polasek, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Joy L. Hendrick, Ph.D.


Personality traits of American student and professional musical theatre performers were studied using the Tellegen Absorption Scale (TAS) (N = 30), the Cloninger Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire™ (TPQ) (N = 28), and the Grit Scale (N = 26). Scores on the TAS and TPQ were compared to the results of a previous study of Israeli dancers (N = 85) using a series of one-sample t-tests. The TAS score of this study’s participants (M = 22.90, SD = 6.47) was compared to that of the dancers (M = 21.05, SD = 6.99), t = 1.567, df = 29, p = .128, d = .27, two-tailed. No significant difference was detected, as the confidence interval ranged from -.56 to 4.26. The TPQ is divided into subscales of Novelty Seeking (NS), Harm Avoidance (HA), and Reward Dependence (RD). No statistically significant difference was found in the Novelty Seeking Scale comparison. For Harm Avoidance, musical theatre performers scored significantly higher than did dancers (t = 3.24, df = 29, p = .003, d = - .59, two-tailed). Musical theatre performers scored lower than dancers (t = -2.49, df = 29, p = .019, d = .55, two-tailed) on the Reward Dependence Subscale. No significant differences were found between dancers and musical theatre performers on the RD2 subscale measurement of perseverance. No significant correlation was observed between the scores of musical theatre performers on the Grit Scale (M = 3.68, SD = 0.54) and the RD2 Subscale measuring perseverance (R = 0.009).

Keywords: musical theatre performers, dancers, personality, TAS, TPQ, Grit Scale