Psychological Study Reveals Link Between Musical Taste and Personality

Psychological Study Reveals Link Between Musical Taste and Personality
After an extensive psychological survey of more than 36,000 music lovers, British researchers have finally done it — they've proved our music tastes reflect our personality. Or at least proved it in the confines of a study.

The department of psychology at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland asked people from all around the world to describe their personality and then tell researchers their preferred musical genre. What the study discovered from the results was that, yes, people's personality traits are connected to their music of choice.

For example, indie fans were found to have low self-esteem and be under-motivated but described themselves as creative individuals. Rap lovers, however, think highly of themselves and are outgoing. Those people who lean towards dance music are also quite extroverted but are more likely to be cold towards others and be self-centred.

"What this research really tries to get at is why music is such an important part of people's identity. What is it about music that helps us to define who we are?” the study’s head researcher, Prof. Adrian North, told the Independent.

"People often define their sense of identity through their musical taste, wearing particular clothes, going to certain pubs, and using certain types of slang. It's not so surprising that personality should also be related to musical preference."

North also added that one of the study’s more surprising findings was that metal fans and classical music fans are united by what he called the shared "love of the grandiose.”

"Aside from their age difference, they're basically the same kind of person," he said. "Lots of heavy metal fans will tell you that they also like Wagner, because it's big, loud and brash. There's also a sense of theatre in both heavy rock and classical music, and I suspect that this is what they're really trying to get at when they listen."

Broken down by genre, here is what your musical tastes say about you, the person:

Rock'n'roll: High self-esteem, creative, hard-working and at ease with themselves, but not very kind or generous.

Indie: Low self-esteem, not hard-working, kind or generous, but creative.

Rap: High self-esteem, outgoing.

Blues: High self-esteem, creative, outgoing and at ease with themselves.

Classical: High self-esteem, creative and at ease with themselves, but not outgoing.

Metal: Creative and at ease with themselves, but not very outgoing or hard-working.

Reggae: High self-esteem, creative, outgoing, kind, generous and at ease with themselves, but not very hard-working.

Country: Hard-working and outgoing.

Dance: Creative and outgoing, but not kind or generous.