Is Our Favourite Music Genre Linked to Our Personality?

Could our preferred genre of music really link to our personality?

A study conducted by Professor Adrian North of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK, believes that our musical tastes and personality types do, in fact, link. Professor North carried out extensive research on the social and applied psychology of music, specifically the relationship between pop music culture and deviant behavior in young adults, music and consumer behavior and musical preference in everyday life.

The study was conducted over a course of three years where the Professor asked over 36,000 people in more than 60 countries to rate a wide range of musical styles in order of preference – there was also a questionnaire that measured certain aspects of personality.

The results showed:

  • Blues fans: have high self-esteem, are outgoing, creative, gentle and mostly at ease
  • Jazz fans: have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing and at ease
  • Classic music fans: have high self-esteem, are creative, introverted and at ease
  • Rap fans: have high self-esteem and are outgoing
  • Opera fans: have high self-esteem, are creative and gentle
  • Country and western fans: hardworking and outgoing
  • Reggae fans: have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease, but not hardworking
  • Dance fans: creative and outgoing, but not gentle
  • Indie fans: have low self-esteem and are creative, but aren’t hardworking or gentle
  • Bollywood fans: creative and outgoing
  • Chart pop fans: have high self-esteem, are hardworking, outgoing and gentle, but not at ease or creative
  • Soul fans: have high self-esteem, are outgoing, creative, gentle and at ease
Professor North said that his objective was to study why music was such a significant part of people’s identity.
He said, “People do actually define themselves through music and relate to other people through it but we haven’t known in detail how music is connected to identity. We have always suspected a link between music taste and personality. This is the first time that we’ve been able to look at it in real detail. No one has ever done this on this scale before.

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