Music is a big part of most people’s lives – it’s almost like a living, breathing entity that reminds us of events in our life, marks significant moments, and basically has a presence that’s unbeknown-est to us sometimes. There are a lot of theories about how and why music embeds itself into our lives, but the most interesting one I’ve read recently is about music and personality. Have you ever wondered if the type of music you listen could be representative of your personality as a whole?
There is actually a study about the correlation between music and personality, conducted by the University of Cambridge which seeks to see if it’s possible to identify a person’s personality traits based on their top favorite songs/artists.
The main idea of this study is described by the researcher: “My research is based on the idea that people seek out situations and environments that reflect and satisfy their psychological needs. So given that our personalities influence the types of situations we seek out and avoid, it seems reasonable to suppose that our personalities also influence which types of music we seek out and which types we avoid.”
Some key findings from this study are:
1. People with strong preferences for classical, jazz, and folk music (aka Reflexive & Complex) most likely have personality traits associated with openness and verbal ability. This means that they have more of a creative bent and are quite open and imaginative.
2. Those more interested in popular styles of music (aka Upbeat & Conventional) tend towards the traits of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and low levels of openness, verbal, and analytic ability. This means that they’re more conventional than their classical, jazz, and folk music counterparts, and have strong sociability and dependability.
3. Accurate impressions can be made from musical preferences and personality, based on data from this study. The personality profiles based off people’s music taste may even be more accurate than face-to-face first impressions, which is a weird idea considering that the music seems to have better indicators of personality than the person themselves.
4. Stereotypes about music fans might be related to personality traits and the music the person listens to. Although stereotypes are usually to be taken with a grain of salt, according to this study both the physical and social stereotypes actually have a connection to the actual personality traits of the individual.
5. The main idea is: music taste and personality have a connection. This could be due to the idea that people who are more creative are drawn to jazz and classical music, although each person is different in what they’re interested in. However, it’s possible for you to compare the music taste of a person and get an indication about what they may be like.
This study interested me a lot because music is an intriguing art to think about and it makes me wonder what other facets of a person can be determined through likes and dislikes. Music is so ingrained in our lives that it’s interesting to see that listening preferences might have to do with how our brains are wired. Personality is something that doesn’t easily change, so how does that explain people who like all different types of music equally? It’s a complex thought, but definitely something to think about. If you listen to Trey Songz or Lil Kim, could that be an indicator of your personality? Check out the link below and comment about what you think.