Music Preferences And Personality Types

February 5, 2007

Here’s an enlightening read from a Psychology Blog in the UK that talks about music and it’s use as a measure of personality. According to a recent study on “getting to know each other,” the most popular topic of conversation between pairs of participants was music. The researchers then hypothesized that this was because we perceive musical tastes as a means of insight into the personality of friends and acquaintances. As a means of measuring, participants were asked to judge one another’s personality based on their top 10 list of songs. The results were then compared to a standard personality test measuring openness to experience, extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and emotional stability.

Some preferences and their relationship to personality were:

– If you enjoy vocals, you’re likely extroverted.
– If you enjoy country music, you’re likely to be emotionally stable.
– If you enjoy jazz, you’re likely intellectual.

Think about yourself and your friends, what your musical tastes are, then see if your assessments of personality are accurate…or don’t, it’s just a suggestion. You don’t have to use their exact criteria, you can be harsher or obtuse with your inferences. For example, it stands to reason that if someone likes progressive rock they’re probably a huge nerd. If they listen to The Decemberists they’re probably bespectacled and overly self-conscious. If they’re enamored of Joanna Newsome they’re probably tone deaf. See, it’s fun! I looked at my top ten most played songs on iTunes and used them to try and judge myself. The results were indeed interesting, if not predictable. Then I used a more common method of personality indication and, while not exact, there was indeed some overlap. Try it out!

After the longest production delay in its brief history, The Best Podcast You Have is back with a new installment. Part space rock, part speech cut-ups, Episode 4 shows a strong effort after a month of dead air emanating from Podcast Jack’s cybernetic skyhook. Take a listen by clicking right here. If you haven’t already, visit the official Podcast website, where you can subscribe and read a series of non-sequitors. Or, if you’re still into the whole social-networking thing (it’s “over,” isn’t it?), you can friend the podcast on MySpace.

Leave a Comment