Research Reveals How Your Musical Taste Reflects Your Personality


Could your musical taste really tell other people what sort of person you are?


Apparently yes, according to some new research by the Stanford Graduate School of Business.


You probably have various personality stereotypes about people depending on what sort of music they like – whether it is Emo, Hip-Hop, EDM, Pop, or Metal – but it seems that personality and playlists ARE intricately linked!


Of course, a scientific study is very different to you just making assumptions about people based on their listening choices, so the researchers first had to work out how to define different musical styles.


As an example, you may debate whether Beyoncé is R&B or Pop so, to make it easy, the study used musical samples which they had already categorized into different ‘dimensions.’


These dimensions were ‘arousal’ (soothing music has low arousal levels), ‘valence’ (sad songs have negative valence, while positive valence means a happy tune), and ‘depth’ (more depth equals more complexity).


With these musical dimensions set, the researchers asked 9,500 people to listen to 50 musical samples and also take some personality tests.


The results were certainly interesting as they showed very clear links between music and personality!


The research explained:


“Neurotic individuals preferred music with negative emotions and intensity; open-minded and liberal people liked complex melodies; while those who identified as agreeable and extroverted liked songs with positive emotions.”


So, it seems that your stereotypes about musical genres and personality types may not be too far off the mark!


Music psychologist David Greenberg, who led the study, noted:


“Our musical taste is a sonic mirror. Through the music, we can better understand who we are and what we truly feel and believe. As a musician, I see how vast the powers of music really are, and unfortunately, many people do not use music to its full potential.”


All interesting stuff, but it makes us wonder – is your musical choice informed by your personality, or does the music change who you are? Maybe it’s a little bit of both?


What do you think?




Photo Credit: Barn Images

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