The link between music taste and personality

To learn from music is one of the aspects of Music Thinking. Here are some learnings that could be used as input for some methods I am using for Brand development and Service Design like Persona Creation, or working with The Company Real Score. So with your next persona creation or service design project you maybe would like to ask your audience what kind (or maybe a combination) of music they prefer. This could help to understand your target group better.

Knowing whether a person prefers John Coltrane to Madonna, Dolly Parton to DJ Avicii, or Wagner to Prince allows for remarkably accurate personality predictions. 
Music Genre and Personality

Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.

According to a study with 36.000 participants all over the world (conducted by Professor Adrin North of Heriot -Watt University, Edinburgh) there is a clear correlation between the musical taste of a person and their personality.

People could make accurate judgments about an individual’s levels of extraversion, creativity and open-mindedness after listening to ten of their favorite songs. Extraverts tend to seek out songs with heavy bass lines, while those who enjoy more complex styles such as jazz and classical music tend to be more creative and have higher IQ-scores.

Blues fans
have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle, and at ease

Jazz fans
have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, and at ease

Classical music fans
have high self-esteem, are creative, introverts, and at ease

Rap fans
have high self-esteem and are outgoing

Opera fans
have high self-esteem, are creative, and gentle

Country and western fans
are hardworking and outgoing

Reggae fans
have high self-esteem, are creative, not hardworking, outgoing, gentle, and at ease

Dance fans
are creative and outgoing but not gentle

Indie fans
have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard working, and not gentle

Bollywood fans
are creative and outgoing

Rock/heavy metal fans
have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, and at ease

Chart pop fans
have high self-esteem, are hardworking, outgoing, and gentle, but are not creative and not at ease

Soul fans
have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle, and at ease

 

References
North, A. C. and Hargreaves, D. J. (2008). The social and applied psychology of music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Collingwood, J. (2008). Preferred Music Style Is Tied to Personality. Psych Central. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/2008/preferred-music-style-is-tied-to-personality/
North, A. C., Desborough, L., and Skarstein, L. (2005). Musical preference, deviance, and attitudes towards celebrities. Personality and Individual Differences, 38, 1903-1914. 

 

More of this:
see the comments or go to www.musicthinking.com

 

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8 responses to “The link between music taste and personality

  1. What happens if you like all kinds of music?

    • This is a good question for the researchers. But I think it is never a ‘all’. There will always be some patterns of choice and behaviour (not only in music taste) that can be used to describe a personality. It just makes it a little more complicated.

  2. Pingback: Music sparks creativity | Morning Tempest Studios

  3. Here is the link to the original paper:

    The American Journal of Psychology,
    Vol. 123, No. 2 (Summer 2010), pp. 199-208

    http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.5406/amerjpsyc.123.2.0199?uid=3739256&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21103597363317

  4. Also interesting in this context:

    What The Music You Love Says About You And How It Can Improve Your Life

    http://time.com/16129/what-the-music-you-love-says-about-you-and-how-it-can-improve-your-life/

  5. Here is an online test I just came across. After asking a few questions you can see ‘your score’, interesting!

    What does your taste in music say about your personality? Find out with this quiz! This psychology test will tell you how other people see you based on what types of music you listen to. Results are instant, free, and anonymous. http://www.outofservice.com/music-personality-test/

    Here is my result:
    http://www.outofservice.com/music-personality-test/results/?complex=91.73&edgy=63.85&fun=25.25&energetic=35.15&feedback=0468a25a6bb943ee

    have fun!

  6. Pingback: A Journal of Musical ThingsYour Choice of Music Can Reveal Your Personality - A Journal of Musical Things

  7. Pingback: The Music Thinking Framework for iteration, innovation and transformation | CREATIVE COMPANION the Blog

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