Music Taste Linked to Personality?

Heavy metal fans are “quite delicate things?”  They are if you believe Adrian North.

Yahoo News UK & Ireland reports that Adrian North, a psychology professor at Heriot-Watt University, has completed a research study linking music taste to personality.  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.”  Those participating were asked to rate 104 musical styles in the study and were also questioned on aspects of their personality.

His study included more than 36,000 people from around the world and suggests that fans of heavy metal are gentle and introverted, but not hard working; indie listeners exhibit low self-esteem, those fond of pop are uncreative, country and western lovers are hard-working, those who like rap are outgoing and jazz and classical music supporters are innovative and bursting with self-confidence.

My favorite quote was from the BBC.  They reported North saying, “The general public has held a stereotype of heavy metal fans being suicidally depressed and of being a danger to themselves and society in general.  But they are quite delicate things.”

Both articles also list some similarities between fans of different genres.  To see the actual paper (and others), click here.

Photo from the Yahoo Article

Photo from the Yahoo Article


7 responses to “Music Taste Linked to Personality?

  1. Hmm Im not exactly sure that I agree with this psychological research. …

    Interesting thoughts though.

    My tastes are eclectic enough that I fit in almost all categories.

  2. I enjoy a lot of metal. Am I suicidal – no, I just come across that way. Am I a delicate thing? You know me.. you tell me.
    Interesting reading though.

    Maybe not delicate… but thing? Hmm…

  3. Hmm…I wrote a comment and it disappeared into the ether…so, I hope this doesn’t post twice!

    I have widely varied taste in music but my top three choices are:

    1. Alternative/Indie: Everything from 70’s Punk to today’s Glam and Emo rockers. I personally prefer either the harder stuff, or the more theatrical kind.

    2. Classic rock, especially Southern rock.

    3. The Blues (and Soul).

    I love everything though. I find value in all genres. So, I wonder what that says about my personality…oh, I know:

    I’m a looney bird.

    I prefer eclectic, but if you want to go with looney…

  4. I listen mostly to jazz, and second mostly to classical. So I like the research results. 🙂

    It does say you are creative. Based on your blog, I’d agree.

  5. I think it’s very important to remember that phychology is just somebody’s best guess.

    I mean it’s not like they can pull out the dip stick and say “Yep, this guy is a quart low.” 😉

    …but that happens by another doctor during a physical checkup, right?

  6. Well hmm I think I need to be institutionalized if this were to be fact, I am one confused seeesstah!

    Sanity Found… Sanity Lost… Sanity Institutionalized. You must listen to Indie Heavy Metal Pop music.

  7. Physical exams are based on more than an opinion. Blood pressure, respirations, warts, stuffy nose, etc.

    When you mentioned “dip stick” I was thinking about the glove thing during a physical… all in good fun.

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