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Music and personality: what link do they have?

Music and personality: what link do they have?

May 8, 2024

All urban tribe or juvenile ideological movement are established based on certain characteristic signs: aesthetics, some ethical principles more or less sketched, but mainly some well-defined musical tastes .

The beat generation danced to jazz rhythm, the hippie movement listened to folk and rock sixties at festivals like Woodstock, the yuppies with Love Over Gold of Dire Straits. Goths and emos shudder with dark songs. And these are just a few examples. Music that marked a generation, or music that a youth social movement made its own.

Music and personality: a real binomial?

Despite what we usually believe, music does not explain our way of being , we use music to see ourselves identified with the vital and political positions that we consider most valid, but there is no close link between that identification and our actions.


Dismantling clichés

Let's take an example: the hard aesthetics and the violence that surrounds heavy metal does not correspond to the personality of its followers: many of them are kind, peaceful people and even with a tendency toward introversion, as pointed out by a study carried out at the University of Heriot-Watt, by means of a survey that was answered by 37,000 people throughout the world through the Internet (North, A.C. & Hargreaves, D.J., 2005).

This is what he tells Christopher Drösser in his book The seduction of music :

The respondents defined their preferences regarding more than 100 musical styles (from classical music to soul) that were in theory a reflection of their personality traits. These traits were, for example: low or high self-esteem, creative / non-creative, introverted / extroverted, docile / aggressive, hardworking or lazy.

Give more or less credibility to the study, the truth is that by linking musical style with personality we fall into generalizations and inaccuracies. If this is the case, we would be playing in a field of cheap demagoguery and we would use the prejudices imposed by the media and the juvenile television series.


Curious coincidences: 'heavies' and 'classics' are similar

From the survey designed by North and Hargreaves, it could be highlighted thatThe personality of heavy metal fans is very similar to classical music fans , although their study does clarify that the latter have a higher self-esteem than the former, on average. So, although the musical styles differ in a great degree, not to mention the clothes that each musical style proposes, the classics and the hairy ones could be categorized within the same psychological profile.

Other research carried out at the University of Queensland, Australia, led by F. Baker and W. Bor (2008), support the previous conclusions , discarding in this way that music or musical style plays a causal role in antisocial behavior, for example. They do suggest, however, that identification with a musical style is an indicator of emotional vulnerability.


Preference for musical styles and personality

The study by North and Hargreaves yielded the following data:

  • Music lovers Blues They have high self-esteem, they are creative, kind and extroverted
  • Those who prefer music Jazz and the Soul they get the same adjectives as Blues lovers
  • They obtain results similar to the previous ones that prefer the Rap and the Opera
  • The subjects that prefer the classical music They are the same as the previous ones, with the exception that they are introverted
  • The lovers of Country they are workers and extroverts
  • Those who enjoy the Reggae they were reported as vague, and also creative, kind, extroverted and with high self-esteem
  • Those who like to listen to music Dance They are creative and extroverted, but not too friendly
  • The crazy music Indie they have low self-esteem, they are creative, unkind and little workers
  • The followers of music Rock Y Heavy Metal They have low self-esteem, they are creative, not very hardworking, introverted and kind

It should be remembered that these data were obtained by crossing data from personality tests and musical preferences, and they only indicate statistically significant trends ; correlations Obviously, this does not mean that listening to certain musical styles "transforms" our personality. "

Personality: a complex and multi-causal concept

Therefore, the psychic state is a priori, and from this each individual is allowed to conquer by that music that fits with his personality.Sometimes listening to music with melodies or depressing lyrics in the ears of someone does not mean that it is a trigger to depress many of its listeners, but, on the contrary, sometimes this type of music helps to overcome low moments of mood .

Most people remain faithful to the musical styles they listened to between 14 and 26 years of age , and this happens because young people mark our identities, which will no longer be so plastic for the rest of our lives.

We recommend you read: "What music do intelligent people listen to?"

What Music Says About Your Personality | ft. peaceofelise (May 2024).


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