There are people who are more empathetic than others, and we can recognize them thanks to the music they listen to. Our music choices reveal personality traits

Do you like classical music more or do you prefer pop?

Many studies relate what we hear to our personality. One of them, where more than 36,000 people from 60 different countries were consulted, determined that we can know what a person is like just by paying attention to the tastes of their music lovers. If you are more or less hardworking, more or less neurotic, if you are kind and outgoing… These personality traits are related to the music you choose.

The author, Adrian North, explained that musical preferences are directly related to the way we dress, how we speak and the places we go. Therefore, a pop fan is often very different from a heavy metal follower.

A total of 36,518 individuals participated in this experiment, who assessed their tastes in 104 different styles, filling out a personality form. North was able to specify which characteristics were related according to which musical genres.

Analysis has shown that blues lovers tend to be creative, outgoing, friendly, and calm. However, classical music followers tend to be more introverted and country followers are more hardworking.

Using music to seduce customers is a technique widely used in marketing. North also believed that deducing the personality of shoppers just from knowing what they hear is a strategic advantage when it comes to knowing what to tell them to make them buy.

Which style is related to neurotic traits?

From others in-depth investigation directed by Alexandra Langmeyer, an academic at the Bundeswehr University in Munich, Germany, also immersed himself in this topic. Using a sample of 422 young Germans aged between 21 and 26, he confirmed earlier findings.

Langmeyer’s deduction was that people who are open to new experiences prefer thoughtful and complex music like classical, and intense and rebellious music like rock. On the other hand, people with neurotic characteristics tend to pop because they like more lively and popular rhythms.

Music reveals our thoughts

Another article, this time carried out by researchers at the University of Cambridge in the UK, he also drew his own conclusions. On the occasion, 4,000 people participated who were invited to listen to 50 plays of different genres and the results were as follows:

Those who opted for R&B, rock, country, folk, Latin music, and author songs had higher levels of empathy. They were looking for songs that expressed feelings and didn’t want punk or heavy metal.

On the contrary, those who obtained a lower level of empathy, but greater capacity for rational analysis, opted for rock, punk, heavy metal or jazz. They were looking for topics that had positive energy and emotions.

But what we hear not only reveals personality traits, it also says a lot about our thoughts. According to this report, people can be classified into two groups depending on their cognitive style: empathizers and systematizers.

The former demonstrate empathy by basing their behavior on identifying, predicting, and responding appropriately to the mental states of others. While the latter systematize focusing on identifying, predicting and responding to the behavior of systems, analyzing the rules they must comply with.

The author David Greenberg, who is also a jazz musician, said supporters prefer melodic music like blues or soft rock and are fond of warm, sensual and sad sounds. They also value poetic and reflective music. On the other hand, systematizers opt for the intensity of punk, heavy metal and heavy rock. His music style is stronger and more lively. What group do you belong to?


Individual differences in musical taste

What do musical preferences reveal about personality?

Music preferences are linked to cognitive styles


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