Music is one of the most beautiful and advanced forms of human expression. It speaks to us in a way we can’t describe in words. So, it’s no wonder that one of the first conversational questions you ask someone when you first meet them, is “What kind of music do you listen to?” You may be surprised to know that our taste in music reveals a lot about us.
Here are 4 things that your music taste says about you.
1. Your Cognitive Style
According to research, most people can be broadly classified into two groups based on the type of music that they listen to. They can be either empathizers (Type E) or systemizers (Type S).1 There is also a Type B, or the ‘balanced’ thinker, who incorporates both styles of thinking. Their music taste normally ranges across a wide variety of genres.
- R&B, soft rock, and folk: If you like mellow, low energy songs with sad emotions and lots of depth, you may be an empathizer. These people use empathy when listening to music, keying in on the emotional components of the piece. Empathizers tend to have a strong interest in people’s thoughts and emotions. They tend to be more aware of other people’s emotional and mental states.
- Hard rock, punk, and heavy metal and classical: If you like high energy, intense music with lots of components, you may be a systemizer. Systemizers think about music very logically. They pay attention to the different musical details and elements and see how they fit within the piece as a whole. Systematizers like to think about patterns and rules that govern the natural, physical world. Another study compared SAT scores of high school students with the type of music they listened to. Most top scorers listened to classical music.
2. Your Personality Traits
Research conducted has shown that certain genres of music can be connected to specific personality traits.2
- Classical, jazz, blues, and folk: People who listen to these genres tend to reflect the music they listen to. They are pensive and complex. They are also more likely to be open-minded to new experiences.
- Alternative, rock, heavy metal: People who listen to this type of music are generally intense and rebellious, which comes as no surprise. These genres are known for the similar subject matter in their songwriting.
- Country, pop, religious and soundtracks: These people tend to be more extroverted than most. However, they can be quite conventional in their thinking and less open to new experiences.
- Rap, hip-hop, dance, electronic, soul, and funk: These people tend to be energetic, rhythmic and social people. They love the social elements of music such as dancing and singing aloud.
3. Your Promiscuity (Or Lack Thereof)
Based on short surveys, studies have correlated how likely fans of certain genres are to be more promiscuous.
- Classic Rock: Fans of classic rock bands were seen to be more likely to have sex on the first date.
- Conventional pop: Fans of conventional pop artists were least likely to have sex on the first date and preferred just a chat or a kiss at most.
4. Your Political Views
Studies and surveys have shown that music taste may be indicative of political viewpoints.
- Country: Country fans seem to be more conservative in their political views. They are less open to other types of music and art.
- Blues, folk, and jazz: Fans of these genres are more likely to be politically liberal in their thinking.
The next time you ask somebody what kind of music they listen to, pay close attention. They might be revealing much more about themselves than they intend to.
|↑1||Greenberg, David M., Simon Baron-Cohen, David J. Stillwell, Michal Kosinski, and Peter J. Rentfrow. “Musical preferences are linked to cognitive styles.” PloS one 10, no. 7 (2015): e0131151.|
|↑2||Rentfrow, Peter J., and Samuel D. Gosling. “The do re mi’s of everyday life: the structure and personality correlates of music preferences.” Journal of personality and social psychology 84, no. 6 (2003): 1236.|