What does your taste in music reveal about you?

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Music plays an important role in the lives of people all over the world, which is why many wonder what individual factors might influence musical preferences. Ever thought, Could the contents of your playlist, for example, reveal something about your personality?

Personality Traits Linked to Musical Styles

One large-scale study conducted by researchers at Heriot-Watt University looked at more than 36,000 participants from all over the world. Participants were asked to rate more than 104 different musical styles in addition to offering information about aspects of their personalities.

According to the researcher, Adrian North, the reason people sometimes feel defensive about their taste in music might be related to how much it relates to attitudes and personality. 

North suggests that people define themselves through music and use it to relate to other people. His research points to the connection that people often make between who they are as an individual and their musical tastes.

Keep in mind that these are the results published in only one study rather than being replicated and validated by a variety of researchers and different study designs. The following are some of the personality traits the study linked to certain musical styles.

Pop Music

Fans of the top 40 pop hits tend to be extroverted, honest, and conventional. While pop music lovers are hardworking and have high self-esteem, researchers suggest that they tend to be less creative and more uneasy.

Rap and Hip/Hop Music

Despite the stereotype that rap lovers are more aggressive or violent, researchers have found no such link. Rap fans do tend to have high self-esteem and are usually outgoing.

Country Music

Country music fans are typically hardworking, conventional, and outgoing. While country songs are often centered on heartbreak, people who gravitate towards this genre tend to be very emotionally stable. They also tend to be more conservative and rank lower on the trait of openness to experience.

Rock/Heavy Metal Music

Despite the sometimes aggressive image that rock and heavy metal music project, researchers found that fans of this style of music are usually quite gentle. They tend to be creative, but are often introverted and may suffer from low self-esteem.

Indie Music

Fans of the indie genre are typically introverted, intellectual, and creative. According to researchers, they also tend to be less hardworking and less gentle. Passivity, anxiousness, and low self-esteem are other common personality characteristics.

Dance Music

According to researchers, people who prefer dance music are usually outgoing and assertive. They also tend to rank high on the trait of openness to experience, one of the five major personality traits. People who prefer fast-paced electronic music also tend to rank low on gentleness.

Classical Music

Classical music lovers are typically more introverted but are also at ease with themselves and the world around them. They are creative and have a good sense of self-esteem.

Jazz, Blues, and Soul Music

People who enjoy jazz, blues, or soul music were found to be more extroverted with high self-esteem. They also tend to be very creative, intelligent, and at ease.