Have you ever noticed that music has the powerful ability to create strong communities? Whether you’re a devoted basshead, or enjoy being in a crowd listening to uplifting trance music, these preferences may reveal aspects of your personality.

According to a 2003 study published by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, there may be a link between you personality and your preference in music.

The study asked over 1,000 University of Texas-Austin students questions based on their individual music preference, then compared these preferences to self-views on aspects of their personality. The study found a correlation between the aspects of the ‘Big Five’ personality traits that individuals displayed (Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, and Openness) and their preference toward genre.

For example, individuals who listed to music coined by the study as ‘upbeat & conventional’ such as pop and country were found to be more likely to engage in social activities as well as be more concerned with pleasing other people.

Meanwhile, those who preferred genres that were ‘reflective and complex’ (jazz, blues, folk) or ‘intense and rebellious’ (punk, heavy metal, rock) were found to be more open and willing to accept new thoughts and ideas.

So, where do EDM fans fall?

According to the study, individuals who enjoyed ‘energetic and rhythmic’ tunes such as electronic music, were found to be more extroverted and have a higher self-esteem. EDM fans also viewed themselves as more physically attractive (heeeeyy!) than fans of any other genre.

As music is often times a defining aspect of our social identity, consider how the individuals in your life may reflect this model. Do the friends you attend raves with simply have a preference for heavy wubs? Or perhaps, does the bond you share over music rely more on your common personalities?

Cited Works:
Rentfrow P. J., & Gosling S. D. (2003). The do re mi’s of everyday life: The structure and personality correlates of music preferences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 1236–1256.

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About the Author

Devin Culham Staff Writer Cut my teeth with the Detroit techno scene before moving to Denver to see what the mountains have to offer.

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