Every single December considering that 2016, Spotify operates a vastly well-known campaign where users get stats on which musicians and genres they listened to the most. The virality of the campaign lies in the point that folks consider that the type of audio they pay attention to says anything about them. Analysis linking persona forms to music choices suggests that they are appropriate.

Past scientific studies have hinted at a organic basis for new music tastes. Hormones and natural environment form the new music somebody likes. Researchers also have beforehand explored the associations in between particular music tastes and persona qualities. Now, a paper posted in the Journal of Individuality and Social Psychology seems to be at these associations on a cross-cultural scale.

Researchers from Cambridge College and Bar-Ilan College reported that the correlations between persona types and musical genres are mostly the similar for men and women throughout the world. What seems satisfying to an introvert in Europe is also possible to make an Asian introvert groove.

The experiment

The scientists used a broadly applied framework for finding out songs preferences. Aptly named New music, it bins music genres into five distinctive types — mellow, unpretentious, refined, intensive, and up to date. Even though mellow characteristics genres like delicate rock and R&B, unpretentious contains place new music advanced, powerful, and modern day include jazz, rock, and rap songs, respectively, amongst a lot of other individuals. 

Identity sorts were also grouped into 5 styles in accordance to a common design in psychology exploration: OCEAN. The five sorts are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. As the names advise, men and women with these personalities are probable to be inventive, diligent, outgoing, welcoming, and anxious, respectively.

Smarter faster: the Big Think newsletter

Subscribe for counterintuitive, surprising, and impactful stories delivered to your inbox every single Thursday

The scientists had some hypotheses for the pairwise interactions among individuality type and new music desire. For illustration, considering that openness is marked by a desire for new experiences, individuals with this identity style should be far more likely to love innovative music. Likewise, extroverts are most likely to have enjoyment listening to unpretentious tunes.

To determine if their hypotheses were being appropriate and had been relevant across the complete environment, the researchers done two independent scientific tests to assess musical choice. The very first examine analyzed information on practically 285,000 people from across 53 international locations. The facts was gathered from an online quiz in which contributors rated their desire for various genres in trade for feedback about their personalities. (Try out it listed here.) 

The second research made use of information from a different web page the place the participants stuffed out a questionnaire and rated audio clips from diverse genres. (Consider it right here.) The clips had been sampled in a method that reduced the possibility that the contributors had any prior encounter with them, thereby getting rid of bias. Facts was gathered on in excess of 71,000 members from 36 international locations.

New music choice and personality

The authors identified numerous fascinating correlations. For instance, a listener of mellow songs genres is additional most likely to be a woman, while a listener of intense audio much more probably to be a guy. Whilst the desire for mellow new music among the women of all ages was real in all international locations analyzed, preference for intense songs amid men was split. Guys from the Western hemisphere are far more probably to enjoy rigorous songs, while those people from the Jap hemisphere, with the exception of Australia, dislike it.

Amid older men and women, couple have any tolerance for rigorous music, preferring to listen to mellow, unpretentious, or subtle genres as an alternative. An previous person’s audio choices are related to people of Asian people of all ages. Black and Latino men and women gravitated toward present-day songs. 

The researchers also examined correlations involving musical tastes and temperament kinds the two in and concerning nations. They noticed that the energy of correlations are closer for nations around the world that are geographically adjacent. The only cluster of like-minded new music followers that consisted of distant international locations involved Brazil, Argentina, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and South Africa. It is not clear what unites these countries, but the researchers suggested heat climate as a doable aspect.

music personality

Credit score: DM Greenberg et al., J Pers Soc Psychol, 2022.


Whilst the research aimed to attract common conclusions, that’s nevertheless not quite doable. For instance, every person in the review listened to Western songs and understood English. Even further, even even though the investigate incorporated weak countries, it is probably that they sampled the fairly wealthy people today in people nations around the world, in particular simply because the first analyze gathered knowledge from 2003-2010 when internet penetration was considerably lessen in quite a few nations.

In spite of these limits, the analysis strongly supports earlier work that links persona varieties to music preferences. By proving that this website link is conserved throughout cultures, it provides bodyweight to the idea that our music alternatives say a thing about our character.

By Indana