Scientists have confirmed that musical taste is associated with personality type

Psychologists from the University of Cambridge in the UK and Bar-Ilan University in Israel have published a study of the relationship between musical preferences and human character.

The scientists got the data from a small, publicly available test , where study participants chose which musical genres they liked and which they didn’t. In total, 285,000 people from 53 countries passed it.

The organizers evaluated the listeners’ preferences according to four criteria: complex, aggressive, relaxing and dynamic music. Based on the results of observations, psychologists managed to identify a clear connection between favorite tracks and personality type.

  • For example, extroverts are more likely to choose danceable, energetic music, rap, funk, or soul, and prefer contemporary artists.
  • People with a high level of consciousness avoid overly emotional and intense compositions, enjoying genres such as blues, jazz and folk.
  • But benevolent people prefer rather calm music, including religious genres, pop artists, country music and compositions from soundtracks.
  • We also found out that fans of heavy music like alternative rock and heavy metal are more prone to neuroticism, that is, to emotional instability and anxiety.

This study showed that the language of music is universal — it has common patterns in preferences, providing a basis for developing and testing hypotheses about the interaction between music, psychology, biology and culture, the scientists added.

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