How to Identify Your Music Personality?
Music is a powerful way to connect not only with others but also with ourselves. Through lyrics and sound, music sometimes becomes the very thing that can help us understand our emotions. When we can’t express ourselves, sometimes music can.
That’s why we see one of the most successful songwriters and singers of all time, Taylor Swift, captivate such an audience. She is relatable. So, what do studies say about personality and music type? Let’s find out.
What Studies Have Shown
A few studies have been done to pair up music personality and cognitive traits with a particular style of music. While this is interesting, we must take things with a grain of salt because our personalities continually change. Cognitive behaviors that are more ingrained in us can be more telling.
Here are a few interesting examples:
- Extroverted people tend to lean towards pop music. Interestingly enough, these extrovert personalities go towards more of the billboard hits because they have less creative tendencies. Music that falls outside the general taste with more thought-provoking or out-of-the-box music was more foreign to them.
- Country music was associated with hardworking, outgoing, and conservative people. This generalization was interesting because we associate country and country-style music with farm life. This is fitting. The music itself focused on themes of heartbreak and home life.
- Rap music has always been associated with violence, crime, and aggressive behavior. The funniest part of the studies is that researchers found no link between these traits in those who listened to it. People trended towards high self-esteem and were among the most outgoing.
- Classic lovers seem to fit the stereotype. Introverts who are highly creative and have healthy egos. They also listened to other seemingly meaningful music, such as soul and jazz.
- Gentle and creative souls were associated with rock and heavy metal as opposed to the anger and aggression one might link. The first thing people think about when learning the drums is a lot of banging. However, these characters seem to have lower self-esteem.
- Calm, cool, and collected sounds perfect for Indie music. And it was. They tend to be the most gentle of people and potentially have inward feelings of anxiety, passiveness, and low self-esteem. They are deep in their feelings.
- The most aggressive or assertive types of people gravitated towards dance music.
Give Room For Flexibility
These studies aren’t perfect because they could only work with their sample size and destination. Having said that, you may also be saying, “I like all types of music.” It can be true because, often, our personalities are consistently developing and changing. Our mood one minute may fit some punk rock from Kelly Clarkson before shifting to the county by Keith Urban.
Not to bring things back to Taylor Swift, but she is a great example of shifting the mood. Sometimes she sings country and other times pop. Recently she’s moved to indie. Different emotions and relativeness require different approaches. This is why she has done a great job relating to her fans.
The Big Five
In 2018, a study examined music personality and how they compared to The Big 5 personality traits. Researchers wanted to see whether they matched or not. So to start, here are the Big 5 traits.
- openness to experience
- conscientiousness, or how responsible, reliable, and self-controlled you are
- extraversion, ranging from outgoing to introverted
- agreeableness, or how friendly you are
- neuroticism, a measure of how nervous or sensitive you are
The findings were very similar to the information linked above. And to take it a step further, a recent study in 2022 was able to increase its sample size and study 350,000 people in 50 countries across six continents. The end result was that music and personality are linked universally.
What Does This Mean?
Since music and personality are intertwined regardless of where you come from or live, it’s no coincidence that we connect with people that are also into the same music type. If you have ever been in a car with a friend and they put on dance music that you are feeling strongly against, this would make perfect sense.
Those who were into that genre had stronger feelings for the individual song or sound. It went along with their more opinionated personality, just like those who were into more sophisticated music were found to be open-minded individuals who frequently engaged in critical thinking or creative projects.
What is Your Music Personality?
We may find ourselves having a very eclectic playlist or library of music. And that would signify that the person has a very adaptive personality. But if you want to figure out what music you best identify with, it’s important to look at the core traits that make you who you are. Are you introverted or extroverted? This is one of the biggest tells.
If you still aren’t exactly sure what your core personality traits are and your music taste, an easy move is to see what your friends listen to. It’s not uncommon for groups of friends or those who mirror our personality to enjoy the same music, books, movies, and so on. Just remember that not everyone has to be put in a box. While you may like something most of the time, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy other music genres.