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How Personality Traits Can Predict People's Musical Taste

Our personalities, however smartly we don our social masks, can't hide the truth about us for long. One look at the song list on our mobiles or mp3 can reveal the innermost peculiarities and personality traits. Normally we prefer the music of those artists we personally identify ourselves with. sometimes it is age and gender that determines our taste for music.

While youngsters of both genders and generally all men like intense music, older people and usually women, prefer their music mellow as per Greenberg's research. Young people listen to music in a variety of contexts whereas adults tend to listen to music in private contexts. More than all this, all of us have enthusiasm for the energetic type of music during the day and relaxing music during the evening. Extroverts show a marked preference for upbeat contemporary music while openness was linked to a preference for sophisticated styles.

Personality Traits and Musical Taste

More than 36,000 participants worldwide were summoned with the objective of rating more than 104 different musical styles. They also had the Big 5 personality inventories filled in and here are their revelations.

  1. Classical- Although the classical types were fairly introverted, they were comfortable in their own skin. They had high levels of creativity and self-esteem in them.
  2. Jazz, Blues, and Soul- Extroverted with high levels of self-confidence, they also tended to be creative, at ease and smart.
  3. Dance- These were found to be outgoing, and assertive but less gentle compared to other musical types.
  4. Pop- Pop lovers are usually preferred by extroverted, honest and traditional people. However, they were found to be less creative and uneasy with themselves.
  5. Rap/hip hop- Rap fans were reported to have generally high levels of self-confidence and were more outgoing and extroverted.
  6. Country- These fans were stereotypically hardworking, traditional, outgoing and prudish. Although country music focuses on topics like heartbreak, people who liked it were found to be very stable but less open to experience.
  7. Rock/heavy metal- Rock and heavy metal show repressed anger and aggression with low self-esteem at the same time. They were otherwise gentle and introverted and creative to a certain extent.
  8. Indie- Fans of this music represent an introverted, intellectual nature but show an equally passive, anxiety-ridden personality with low self-esteem.

Since people relate to a lot of music they listen to themselves; criticising their music, feels like criticism to them. You listen to 10 favourite songs of a person. You will be able to understand and judge their personality, degree of extraversion, creativity and open-mindedness.
The study by psychologists Jason Rentfrow and Sam Gosling proves this point to a greater degree of perfection. According to their judgment. Extroverts loved heavy bass, whereas creative people with high IQs loved jazz and classical music.

In 2011, researchers introduced a five-factor model to musical tastes and said that people fell into one of the five categories given below.

  1. Sophisticated: Complex and inspirational music, (classical and jazz)
  2. Intense: Loud, energetic music (heavy metal and punk)
  3. Campestral: A mix of styles, (country music)
  4. Mellow: Smooth and relaxing music
  5. Urban: Rhythm and percussion music, (rap and funk)
Story first published: Wednesday, December 7, 2022, 20:14 [IST]
Read more about: music personality traits
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