How The Music We Love Tells Who We Are On A Deeper Level

Jan 4, 2015

You probably have memories of being with your first crush as a young person, arguing over music and comparing musical tastes.  In fact, the novel “High Fidelity” centers around the idea, "what really matters most is what you like...books records films, these things matter."


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According to researchers at the Heriot-Watt University, there might be something to that.  Over the course of three years, they surveyed 36,000 people about their musical tastes and found that music was a greater indicator of personality than anything else.  So when we identify ourselves with the music we love, we are really telling people about who we are on a deeper level.  

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We seem to know this already on a subconscious level-- when researchers at the University of Texas studied how a pair of people got to know each other, musical taste ranked at number one.  As these pairs got to know each other, their chatter about books, music, clothes and movies gradually decreased, but their conversations about music stayed steady throughout.

Add this to what researchers call "tribal function", the feeling that you and a fellow music fan are in the same club, so to speak, and you've got a recipe for a serious love connection.  

So what, exactly, does your music say about you?  Here's what they found:

  • Blues fans: high self-esteem, creative, gentle, at ease, extroverted
  • Jazz fans: high self-esteem, creative, extroverts
  • Classical fans: Creative, introverts with high self-esteem and an easygoing nature
  • Rap fans: High self-esteem extroverts
  • Opera fans: Creative and gentle with high self-esteem
  • Country fans: Hardworking and outgoing
  • Reggae fans: Creative, extroverts with high self-esteem
  • Indie Rock Fans: Creative with low self-esteem and maybe a lax work ethic
  • Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Fans: Gentle creative introverts with low self-esteem
  • Pop Fans: Extroverts with high self-esteem, but a little traditional
  • Soul Fans: Outgoing and gentle with high self-esteem
     

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Credit: Psych Central
 

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