Communicator (communicator) wrote,

Music and personality

Someone has assessed personality based on people's favourite type of music, and found a good correlation. Basically they identified 80+ genres, and then factored them into four preference clusters:

Rentfrow and Gosling labeled these dimensions "Reflective and Complex," which included the genres blues, jazz, classical, and folk; "Intense and Rebellious," which included rock, alternative, and heavy metal; "Upbeat and Conventional," including country, sound tracks, religious, and pop; and "Energetic and Rhythmic," including rap and hip/hop, soul and funk, as well as electronica and dance.

Preference was found to correlate to personality factors:

Reflective and Complex: positively correlated with openness to experience, "self-perceived intelligence," verbal ability, emotional stability, and political liberalism. Negatively correlated with "social dominance orientation," political conservatism, wealth, and athleticism.
Intense and Rebellious: positively correlated with openness to experience, extroversion, athleticism, "self-perceived intelligence,""social dominance orientation," and verbal ability.
Upbeat and Conventional: positively correlated with extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, self-esteem, political conservatism, physical attractiveness (self-perceived), wealth, and athleticism. Negatively correlated with emotional stability, openness to experience, "social dominance orientation," depression, political liberalism, intelligence, and verbal ability.
Energetic and Rhythmic: Positively correlated with extroversion, agreeableness, political liberalism, physical attractiveness, and athleticism. Negatively correlated with "social dominance orientation" and political conservatism.

The study used undergraduates (as usual) so I wonder if musical taste isn't a proxy for group membership. It used to be when I was a youngster.

My guess is most people I know on lj prefer either reflective or intense music, or both, and few like the upbeat pop and dance categories. But I know there are some big fans of musicals which I think falls into the third category. Also I think heavy metal is pretty conventional and conservative. Well, a lot of it is.

They also found that there was a widespread agreement that musical taste was one of the best indicators of personality. And they found that on an experimental 'get to know people' bulletin board, people spoke more about musical taste than all other subjects combined.

I think the people I know on the Internet talk most about films, TV and books. Music comes up but it's way behind those three.
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