Psychology of Music: Music Preference to Personality

It has been an idea from close observation that someone’s personality can determine their preferred choice for the different types of music. This is a wavy subject because there is no down to the ground fact on this statement. After all, no expert is even close to understanding the full potential function and reactions of the complex human brain. The idea of how music preference is tied with personality is based on observations, so,  with that being said, you could find yourself on the opposite end of this boat. Even so, it is very likely that music preference is based on personality. Most experiments support this statement and we believe that music preference is (for the most part at least,) based on personality. We find this statement true and let’s see about you in just a second! 

Before we whip our horses and charge into the bulk, what, in the first place, is music psychology? To answer that, music psychology is the study of how music affects the human mind. To further explain, music psychology is made of two words: music and psychology. Music means music (obviously) and psychology means the study of the human mind. So, mashed together, is the straightforward definition. Music psychology was majorly studied in the twentieth to twenty-first centuries when many breakthroughs in this scientific area were made in psychology and this case, music psychology. The main way this field was studied is by using human participants as examples and next-up, we will be some of them.

I am Matthew W. and my personality is naturally upbeat and my choice of music shows that. I mostly enjoy listening to Indie music which, according to research,  perfectly matches my sometimes overly imaginative brain. Indie music listeners have typically less self-esteem than other listeners. Another perfect match, I always stop when I get shot down. It shocks me to realize how accurately my personality mirrors my taste in music.

I am James T. and I am overly creative and imaginative, I have a high sense of self-esteem and I am independent. My favorite type of music to listen to is classical music (specifically from a piano or cello) and after I found out the personality of people who love classical music, I was freaked out on how precise the research was. The research states that people who love classical music the most are creative and imaginative, have a strong sense of self-esteem, and are knowledgeable and independent. This connection blew my mind when I first realized how music preference is tied to one’s personality and how accurate the scientific observations were (at least for me).

Although for some people the following may not apply as perfectly to you, research states that the vast majority of people may find it, for the most part, correct. Here is the list of examples of personality to music preference: 

*(Listed from a most common favorite to the less common favorite genre of music according to recent polls.)

Popular (Pop) Music: 

Honest, Hardworking, High self-esteem, Less creative

Rap & Hip-Hop Music: 

High Self-esteem, Outgoing, Aggressive

Rock/Heavy Metal Music: 

Gentle, Creative, Low self-esteem

Dance Music: 

Outgoing, Less gentle, Dependent

Independent (Indie) Music: (Matthew W.)

Creative, Less hardworking, Less gentle, Low self-esteem

Classical Music: (James T.)

Creative & Imaginative, High self-esteem, Intelligent, Independent

Country Music:

Emotionally stable, Hardworking, Outgoing

Jazz/Blues/Soul Music: 

High self-esteem, Creative, Intelligent

In rare cases, personality doesn’t lean on music preference, which is fine. (It doesn’t mean you’re weird or anything like that.) To wrap it up, let’s look back to music psychology and music preference and its connection to your personality. The idea that music preference and how it’s tied to personality is from pure observation but it seems to be true. We hope you found it true too but if not, it’s completely fine!

Peace out,

James Tong & Matthew Wang

Oclef Students – Power of Music

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