What does your musical taste say about you?
Rock, rap, funk… everyone has a music style they love to rock-out to. But what does our taste in music say about our personality? In this episode, the team compare what is on their playlist and take the ‘music personality test’. But it doesn’t stop there: our News Guru, Simon Makin, meets author and TED Talk star Ben Goldacre and eminent super-brain Richard Wiseman at this year’s Brighton Science Festival.
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Music and personality
Where people choose to listen to music (click to enlarge):
The music personality ‘test’ results
- Reflective and Complex
- Intense and rebellious
- Upbeat and conventional
- Energetic and Rhythmic
Click here to see which group your music preference goes in.
Dr Stu’s crude summaries of the research results – click your music preference…
Reflective and Complex Music:
You prefer acoustic, authentic music rather than electronic ‘beeps’ and ‘bops’. Your music choices tend to be of a slower tempo than other types of music. To you, the tune and melody of the music is more important than lyrics. When you listen to your favourite songs, they tend to evoke ‘romantic’ or dreamy ideas.
You like music that is generally pleasant and relaxed but can be quite complex. Sometimes the music you listen to music that can be quite emotional.
You probably see yourself as a fairly middle-of-the-road kind of person; and you’d be right. You are quite a creative person and are more in touch with your feelings and emotions than most people. You’re not the sort of person to ‘blurt’ out the first thing that comes to your mind. You are also pretty comfortable taking the lead in social situations.
You see yourself as a fairly intelligent person, but don’t think you’re particularly athletic!. Deep down you are more likely to be politically liberal: Most people with your musical tastes think that freedom and equality are very important. On an IQ test, you’re likely to perform well on the verbal/language parts.
Intense and Rebellious Music:
You like music that is faster in tempo and you don’t mind a bit of electronic distortion thrown into the mix. Lyrics are loud and angryalthough can be clever and pretty complex.
Your favourite tunes are pretty loud and angry: this isn’t ‘chill-out’ music and you choose your music to get you going and fired up!
Lots of people think that you’re pretty ‘fired up’; but to you this is just normal. Compared to most people, your heart actually beats a bit faster – even when you’re relaxed!
You’re quite a creative person and feel that most of the time you are in touch with your feelings and emotions.
Fairness and equality are important to you but in some settings you can be a bit of an extravert and can say things without thinking about them first.
You see yourself as a pretty intelligent person and possibly fairly athletic. On an IQ test, you’ll probably do quite well on any language or verbal parts.
Upbeat and Conventional Music:
You like music that cheers you up! You prefer music that is not too fast, and not too slow; and often you find that listening can help yourelax. Your favourite songs aren’t musically complex, but the words are positive and hopeful and the melodies are simple and uplifting.
You are quite a ‘people person’: You like meeting people, you’re good at sympathising with others and people also like to spend time with you! You are an outgoing sort of person; you start conversations, and don’t mind chatting with lots of people at parties.
Although others may not know it, you have a close eye for detail; you like to be prepared and you rather get chores done straight away, rather than putting them off.
You may struggle with understanding ‘theoretical’ work and abstract ideas. This can mean that you struggle on IQ tests. You may also struggle with coming up with imaginative ideas and you don’t see the point in using difficult words when a simple one will do.
You believe in fairness and equality. Politically, you see family values as important; you quite like tradition and recognise the need for having order in society.
Like your music, you’re a cheerful person and don’t see yourself as ‘depressed’. You think you’re quite an attractive person are comfortable with your self-appearance. Many people with your music tastes see themselves as being fit and athletic.
Energetic and Rhythmic Music:
Your music’s gotta have a beat, baby! A strong rhythm is key to a good track in your mind; and might go for tunes with electronic effects rather than ‘boring’ acoustic instruments. Sometimes song words can be self-indulgent but you think they get the balance just right: not too happy and not too sad.
Providing the rhythm is good, you’re probably quite happy to try out different styles of music.
You are an outgoing person who feels comfortable around other people. You start conversations and even don’t mind being the centre of attention. You make others feel at ease and are genuinely interested inpeople’s feelings. You can have a tendency to just ‘blurt’ out the first thing that comes to your mind – be it good or bad.
You view yourself as being fairly attractive and might also consider yourself to be athletic
You are quite a believer in fairness and equality; and think everyone is entitled to their own views and opinions. You’re politically liberal, and would vote for someone who stood up for freedom and equality
The research study:
Rentfrow PJ, Gosling SD. The do re mi’s of everyday life: the structure and personality correlates of music preferences. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003