Do you think people who listen to different types of music have different personalities? I think they do! And it seems like there is a fair amount of research supporting this – most of it done down the road from Blogthings HQ at the University of Texas – Austin by the psychology department down there.
In 2003, some psychologists from UT published a study where they came up with four different types of music listeners. Going into the study, they had no set ideas of how they would cluster music preferences together, and they came away with some clusters that make a lot of sense to me. There seems to be intuitive overlaps with different music types. After all, there’s a lot of similar music played on NPR, but there’s also stuff you’d never hear there. Same thing for a Top 40 station.
The first type is Reflective and Complex, describing music that is complicated in structure and worth reflecting on. This includes blues, jazz, classical, and folk music. The second type is Intense and Rebellious, for music that is energetic and counter to the mainstream. This can include rock, alternative, and metal. The third type is upbeat and conventional, and that includes mainstream genres like pop, country, and soundtracks. The final type is Energetic and Rhythmic – covering music that is lively and beat centric. This can include hip-hop, soul, and dance music.
These musical taste dimensions are fascinating, but of course, we really want to know if they link up with personality characteristics. Well, they do. Quite a few studies have been run with interesting results. For example, people who like Energetic and Rhythmic music tend to be more extroverted while those listening to Reflective and Complex music tend to be more open. Cool stuff – check out The do re mi’s of everyday life: The structure and personality correlates of music preferences for the complete info.
By this point, you’re probably wondering what your music personality is and what it says about you. Of course, I quizzed this up and added a little flair: What’s Your Music Personality? I hope you’ll enjoy taking this quiz well grounded in psychological research 🙂
What do you get on What’s Your Music Personality? Does it fit your taste in music and your personality? If not, is there a result that suits you better?