When the arts are not your cup of tea: Participation frequency and experience in cultural activities

Coen van Bendegom*, Ondrej Mitas, Wilco Boode, Pieter de Rooij, Marcel Bastiaansen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
67 Downloads (Pure)


Expressive cultural activities, such as viewing visual art, drama, or dance, are perceived as beneficial to individuals and societies, justifying public funding. However, not everyone benefits and participates equally. We intentionally sampled infrequent and frequent attendees among young adults in the Netherlands. Results indicated that infrequent and frequent attendees differed in expressive cultural activity constraints and socialization, though not on demographic background. Their cultural, social, and emotional experience through self-report and physiological data revealed no significant differences between the groups’ experience of a dramatic performance. These outcomes suggest that, as an example of expressive cultural activity, a dramatic performance experience can be equally emotionally beneficial to frequent and infrequent attendees, an important prerequisite to broader appeal and intergroup contact. Implications of the use of physiological data in leisure experience research are discussed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-252
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Social fragmentation
  • cultural participation
  • experience
  • leisure constraints
  • skin conductance


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