Saturday, September 06, 2008

Personality and music tastes: the unexpected

The BBC reported a study of the link between personality and taste in music.

This has surely been done before, but this particular - extensive - study has thrown up a few surprise results.

The factors measured appear to be: creativity; outwardness, self-esteem, work effort, gentleness and anxiety levels.

If I made a list off the cuff of what traits I imagine would go with particular types of music, quite a few of my stereotypical thoughts would be confirmed. But not all. Some of the results that may counter one's expectations about the general aficionado include:
blues: high self-esteem, outgoing
indie: low self-esteem, not hardworking, not gentle
rock/heavy metal: gentle, creative, at ease
reggae: high self-esteem, outgoing, creative

And classical fans and rock/heavy metal fans have surprisingly similar characteristics: at ease, creative, but not outgoing.

Of course, this is all about gross generalisation; we can all come up with exceptions. But it's interesting to see what happens in the aggregate.

A good example of a confirmation of stereotype: those who like chart pop music are, on the whole, not so much at ease, nor very creative.

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