One’s taste in music is at the top of the list when it comes to topics that can cause a heated argument. Musical preferences are sacred to most people and we tend to divide into small tribes over music, considering the other tribes as less sophisticated. Interestingly, your music choices are not a random grouping – your tribe isn’t determined by where your friends go. Instead, your personality and the music you like are interlinked, both influencing each other.
Three thinking groups and their musical choices
A 2015 study by David M. Greenberg et al divided people’s thinking into three separate thinking styles: the empathizers, the systemizers and the balanced. Each thinking style tended to favor different types of music, allowing the researchers to predict what music the person likes simply by understanding their thinking style.
Empathizers feel connected to others, they have strong emotions and they base their decision-making often on emotional values. On the other hand, systemizers think more rationally. They are calm and composed in their decision-making. As you might suspect, the balanced thinkers are a mixture of both these styles.
First, the empathizers were shown to prefer mellow music – low energy, sad emotions and emotional depth. The people in this group were therefore associating with genres such as soft rock, indie and R&B.
For the systemizers, this type of music wasn’t appealing. They were looking for a more intense musical experience – something with intellectual depth and complexity. Systemizers wanted to experience genres such as hard rock, punk and heavy metal. Furthermore, because of the focus on complexity, they also liked listening to classical genres, especially the avant-garde era.
Finally, the study found the balanced group to have a widely spanning taste in music. As the group is a mixture of a systemizer and an empathizer thinking style, it seemed the people in this group also balanced their music choices with a range of options.
Personality based on your favorite music genre
The above points out the broader trends behind music choices and thinking style. But there has been more detailed research into specific genres and personalities. In the UK, professor Adrian North looked into the musical preferences and personalities of over 36,000 people and found interesting results.
The data showed that people who have high self-esteem tend to like genres such as blues, jazz, classical music, opera, rap, reggae, soul and pop. On the other hand, people with lower self-esteem find themselves listening to indie music, heavy metal and rock.
Creative people are drawn to enjoy music, which has complexity. This includes blues, jazz, classical music, opera and reggae. Creative fans also tended to favor indie music, dance music, and even rock and heavy metal sparked people’s creative side. Perhaps not surprisingly to many, pop music fans are the least creative.
Other interesting, and somewhat stereotypical, finding was that country and western listeners are hardworking. Pop music lovers also tended to be more willing to pick up the shovel. On the other hand, reggae, rock, indie and heavy metal fans would prefer not to have to sweat around.
When it came to being an introvert or an extrovert, classical music was associated with the wish to be left alone. Rock and heavy metal fans also preferred to stay on their own. Outgoing people wanted to listen to blues, jazz, rap, reggae, and country & western, among others.
The above shows that certain personalities can prefer differing genres of music, despite being similar in character. Both heavy metal and classical music listeners are creative, introvert and gentle in their approach, even though the music might seem rather dissimilar. Nonetheless, if you listen to the music carefully, both styles are rather impressive and bold – no wonder then that heavy metal is often turned into a classical composition.
Showing your personality and music choices
Today’s consumer society has made it easy to showcase your personality and choice in music. You can dress up in band-specific clothing, decorate your phone with band memorabilia and even design your home as a shrine to your favorite genre. Frugaa sure can help you get all these stuff from trusted sellers with great discounts.
The outgoing personalities, who prefer genres such as jazz and reggae, like to showcase their musical composition taste with their looks. But introverts’ style also reflects their music choices, but in a more subtle way. The black clothing of heavy metal fans might stand out in the crowd in a colorful world, but it’s an attempt to not make a fuss.
Music choices are much more reflective of our inner traits and characteristics than many think. Instead of picking our tune of choice, it seems more like we are gravitating towards a specific genre because of the way we are. Therefore, it isn’t any wonder we feel such a strong connection with our favorite type of music and perhaps why we can be rather defensive about our beloved genre.