The music you listen to, reveals who you are

25 July 2015

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You like to relax listening to pop or rock? Whatever your musical preferences are, psychologists can “read” them and find out your character.

Scientists after investigations concluded that musicians listeners usually fall into two camps: those who have empathy and those who are systematic.

People with empathy are those who like to focus on the feelings of the people, while the systematic prefer to analyze rules and standards.

“Although the music choices of people change over time, we have discovered that levels of empathy and the thinking style of someone, provides what kind of music they like,” doctoral student David Greenberg explains from the University of Cambridge, who led the study.

Researchers in the past decade have suggested that music preferences and more explicitly reflect characteristics such as age and personality.

For example, people who are open to new experiences tend to prefer blues, jazz and classical music. On the other, people who are extroverted and “thank you” tend to prefer pop, soundtracks, soul, funk, electronic and dance music.



The researchers conducted a series of studies with over 4000 participants mainly through the implementation of Facebook myPersonality.

The application asked Facebook users to answer a psychological questionnaire and later asked to listen and score 50 tracks.

People who had high empathy in psychological tests prefer music like RnB, loose rock and adult contemporary music style. Also they prefer more “informal music” as European folk or pop. Instead, they disliked the intense music, like punk and heavy metal

Conversely, people who proved more systematic rather intense music, but did not like the most peaceful species.

The results also showed variations even within defined types: eg people with empathy rather mature unpretentious jazz and systematic intense, complex and avant-garde jazz.

The researchers then looked carefully and found that those who had a strong empathy prefer music with low energy, gentle, thoughtful, sensual and hot items. Also preferred negative feelings or emotional depth to the lyrics. Unlike systematic prefer high-energy music, loud, intense with exciting elements.

David Greenberg, who is also a professional saxophonist, believes the research can be applied in the music industry: “A lot of money consumed algorithms choose the types of music such as Spotify and Apple Music. Knowing but the thinking of a person, such services could in future be able to perfect their musical proposals for one person ”

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