Psychology of music preference

The psychology of music preference is the study of the psychological factors behind peoples' different music preferences. Music is heard by people daily in many parts of the world, and affects people in various ways from emotion regulation to cognitive development, along with providing a means for self-expression. Music training has been shown to help improve intellectual development and ability, though no connection has been found as to how it affects emotion regulation.[1] Numerous studies have been conducted to show that individual personality can have an effect on music preference, mostly using personality, though a recent meta-analysis has shown that personality in itself explains little variance in music preferences.[2] These studies are not limited to American culture, as they have been conducted with significant results in countries all over the world, including Japan,[3] Germany,[4] and Spain,[5] and Brazil.[6]

Personality and music preferenceEdit

PersonalityEdit

Various questionnaires have been created to both measure the big five personality traits and musical preferences. The majority of studies attempting to find the correlation between personality and musical preferences administered questionnaires to measure both traits.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] Others used questionnaires to determine personality traits, and then asked participants to rate musical excerpts on scales such as liking, perceived complexity, emotions felt, and more.[7][15][16][17]

In general, the plasticity traits (openness to experience and extraversion) affect music preference more than the stability traits (agreeableness, neuroticism, and conscientiousness),[18] but each trait is still worth discussing. The personality traits have also been shown to correlate significantly with the emotional effect music has on people. Individual personality differences can help predict the emotional intensity and valence derived from music.[19]

Big Five Personality Traits[20]Edit

Openness to experienceEdit

Of all the traits, openness to experience has been shown to have the greatest effect upon genre preference.[7][8][21] In general, those rated high in openness to experience prefer music categorized as more complex and novel, such as classical, jazz, and eclecticism,[22] as well as intense and rebellious music.[23][13][8][24] In the study, reflective and complex genres included classical, blues, jazz, and folk music, while intense and rebellious genres included rock, alternative, and heavy metal music.[13] One of the facets of openness to experience is aesthetic appreciation, which is how researchers generally explain the high positive correlation between openness and liking complex music.[25]

One study looking at how personality traits affect music-induced emotion found that, of all the traits, openness to experience was the best predictor of higher emotionally intense reactions to sad and slow music. The most common feelings described from sad music were nostalgia, peacefulness, and wonder, and openness to experience correlated positively with all these feelings.[26] Sad music has also been theorized to allow for greater experience of aesthetic experiences and beauty.[17] Furthermore, individuals scoring high on openness to experience show a preference for diverse musical styles, but do not prefer popular forms of contemporary music, indicating that there are limits to this openness.[27] However, this is only true up to a certain point, as another study looked at music's ability to produce "chills" in the listeners. Although this study found that openness was the best predictor of genre preference, there is no way to use openness to experience to predict whether one will get chills from music or not. Instead, the only measure for that was frequency of listening to music and the self-designated value of the importance of music in one's life.[28]

Another study examined how openness to experience and frequency of listening are related and how they affect music preference. While listening to classical music excerpts, those rated high in openness tended to decrease in liking music faster during repeated listenings, as opposed to those scoring low in openness, who tended to like music more with repeated plays. This suggests novelty in music is an important quality for people high in openness to experience.[29]

One study had people take a personality test before and after listening to classical music with and without written lyrics in front of them. Music both with and without lyrics showed some effect on people's self-reported personality traits, most significantly in terms of openness to experience, which showed a significant increase.[30] Instead of personality affecting music preference, here classical music altered the assessment of their own personalities and made people assess themselves as more open to experience.

Openness to experience is also positively correlated with frequency of intellectual or cognitive use of music, such as analyzing complex musical compositions.[10][11][14][31] Furthermore, individuals more open to experience prefer a greater number of melodic themes in a work of music.[32][12]

ConscientiousnessEdit

Conscientiousness is negatively correlated with intense and rebellious music, such as rock and heavy metal music.[13] While previous studies have found an association between conscientiousness and emotional regulation, these results do not apply cross-culturally—specifically, researchers did not find this association in Malaysia.[11]

ExtroversionEdit

Extroversion is another good predictor of music genre preference and music use. Energetic extroverts have been linked to preferences in happy, upbeat and conventional music, as well as energetic and rhythmic music, such as rap, hip hop, soul, electronic, and dance music.[10][13] Additionally, extroverts tend to listen to music more and have background music present in their lives more often.[25] One study compared introverts and extroverts to see who would be more easily distracted by background music with and without lyrics. It was assumed that since extroverts listen to background music more they would be able to tune it out better, but that was proved untrue. No matter how much music people listen to they are still equally affected and distracted by music with lyrics.[33] Cheerful music with fast tempos, many melodic themes, and vocals are also preferred by extroverts.[14][12][24] They are more likely than others to listen to music in the background while doing other activities, such as running, being with friends, or studying.[31][11][10] This group also tends to use music to counter the monotony of everyday tasks, such as ironing.[11] In a Turkish study, researchers found that extroverts preferred rock, pop, and rap because these genres facilitated dance and movement.

Another study examined music teachers and music therapists, assuming that people who like and study music would be more extroverted. The results showed that music teachers were definitely higher in extroversion than the general public. Music therapists were also higher on extroversion than introversion, though they scored significantly lower than the teachers.[34] Differences can probably be attributed to teaching being a profession more dependent on extroversion.

AgreeablenessEdit

Agreeable individuals preferred upbeat and conventional music.[13] Additionally, listeners with high agreeableness displayed an intense emotional response to music which they had never before listened to.[15] Agreeableness is also a good predictor of the emotional intensity experienced from all types of music, both positive and negative. Those scoring high in agreeableness tend to have more intense emotional reactions to all types of music.[35]

NeuroticismEdit

The more neurotic a person is, the less likely they are to listen to intense and rebellious music (such as alternative, rock and heavy metal); they will likely prefer upbeat and conventional music, such as country, sound tracks, and pop music.[13] Additionally, neuroticism is positively correlated with emotional use of music.[10][9] Those who scored high in neuroticism were more likely to report use of music for emotional regulation and experience higher intensity of emotional affect, especially negative emotion.[10][11]

Individual and situational influences on musical preferencesEdit

Situations have been shown to influence individual’s preferences for certain types of music. Participants in a study from 1996 provided information about what music they would prefer to listen to in given situations, and indicated that the situation greatly determined their musical preferences. For example, melancholic situations called for sad and moody music, while an arousal situation would call for loud, strong rhythm, invigorating music.[36]

GenderEdit

Women are more likely than men to respond to music in a more emotional way.[31] Furthermore, females prefer popular music more than males.[27] In a study of personality and gender in preference for exaggerated bass in music, researchers found that males demonstrated more of a preference for bass music than females. This preference for bass music is also correlated with antisocial and borderline personalities.[37]

AgeEdit

Age is a strong factor in determining music preference.[7][38] There is also evidence that preferences and opinions toward music can change with age.[7][39] In a Canadian study concerning how adolescent music preferences relate to personality, researchers found that adolescents who preferred heavy music demonstrated low self-esteem, higher levels of discomfort within the family, and tended to feel rejected by others. Adolescents who preferred light music were preoccupied with doing the proper thing, and had difficulty balancing independence with dependence. Adolescents who had eclectic music preferences had less difficulty negotiating adolescence, and were flexible using music according to mood and particular needs at the time.[40]

Self viewsEdit

Music preferences can also be influenced by how the individual wants to be perceived, especially in males.[10] Music preferences could be used to make self-directed identity claims. Individuals might select styles of music that reinforce their self-views. For examples, individuals with a conservative self-view preferred conventional styles of music, while individuals with an athletic self view preferred vigorous music.[14] Individuals will unconsciously push perceptions into their environments, music makes this evident. In a 1953 study, Cattell and Anderson began the process of determining musical preference through unconscious traits.[41] While their findings were inconclusive, it created a research basis for later cases. Music is a way similar to diet and physique to outwardly express internal characteristics. Rentfrow and Gosling found through their study of the seven domains that for many, music was placed quite high in the rankings.[42]

MoodEdit

Active mood is another factor that affects music preference. Generally whether people are in a good or bad mood when they hear music affects how they feel about the type of music and also their emotional response.[19] On that line of thinking, aggression has been shown to improve creativity and emotional intensity derived from music. People with aggressive disorders find music to be a powerful emotional outlet.[43] Additionally, the value people put on music and frequency of listening affects their reactions to it. If people listen to a certain type of music and add emotional experience to songs or a genre in general, this increases the likelihood of enjoying the music and being emotionally affected by it.[21] This helps explain why many people might have strong reactions to music their parents listened to frequently when they were children.

ProductivenessEdit

If someone is listening to music with the ultimate goal of completing a task, their musical preference is greatly increased. The more a genre of music increases one's productiveness, the more the individual will gravitate toward that genre to complete future tasks.[44]

In turn, music can increase focus in some. It can help your brain interpret information and gain a better understanding of new things more easily. Music can engage the brain in many different ways, whether that be making one more attentive, focused, increased concentration etc.[45]

According to a 2017 study, soft, fast music was concluded to have a positive effect on productiveness. Interestingly enough, instrumental music was also proven to disrupt students' learning more than music containing lyrics. Music can improve one's mood, create a positive mindset, reduce stress etc., this can directly correlate to learning improvements.[46]

Season of the yearEdit

Season of the year can also affect preferences. After reflecting upon fall or winter seasons, participants preferred reflective and complex music, whereas after reflecting upon summer or spring, participants preferred energetic and rhythmic music. However, "pop" music seems to have a universal appeal, despite the season.[47]

FamiliarityEdit

Familiarity and complexity both have interesting effects on musical preferences. As seen in other types of artistic media, an inverted U relationship is apparent when relating subjective complexity on liking music excerpts. Individuals like complexity to a certain degree, then begin to dislike the music when complexity gets too high. Furthermore, there is a clear positive monotonic relationship between familiarity and liking of music.[48]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Schellenberg, Glen E.; Mankarious, Monika (October 2012). "Music training and emotion comprehension in childhood". Emotion. 12 (5): 887–891. doi:10.1037/a0027971. PMID 22642351.
  2. ^ Schäfer, Thomas; Mehlhorn, Claudia (2017). "Can personality traits predict musical style preferences? A meta-analysis". Personality and Individual Differences. 116: 265–273. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2017.04.061.
  3. ^ Brown, R.A. (1 November 2012). "Music preferences and personality among Japanese university students". International Journal of Psychology. 47 (4): 259–268. doi:10.1080/00207594.2011.631544. PMID 22248342.
  4. ^ Langmeyer, Alexandra; Guglhör-Rudan, Angelika; Tarnai, Christian (October 2012). "What do music preferences reveal about personality: a cross-cultural replication using self-ratings and ratings of music samples". Journal of Individual Differences. 33 (2): 119–130. doi:10.1027/1614-0001/a000082.
  5. ^ Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas; Gomà-i-Freixanet, Montserrat; Furnham, Adrian; Muro, Anna (August 2009). "Personality, self-estimated intelligence, and uses of music: A Spanish replication and extension using structural equation modeling". Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. 3 (3): 149–155. doi:10.1037/a0015342.
  6. ^ Herrera, Lucia; Soares-Quadros, João F. Jr; Lorenzo, Oswaldo (2018). "Music Preferences and Personality in Brazilians". Frontiers in Psychology. 9: 1488. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01488. ISSN 1664-1078. PMC 6113570. PMID 30186197.
  7. ^ a b c d e Bonneville-Roussy, Arielle; Rentfrow, Peter J.; Xu, Man K.; Potter, Jeff (2013). "Music through the ages: Trends in musical engagement and preferences from adolescence through middle adulthood". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 105 (4): 703–717. doi:10.1037/a0033770. PMID 23895269.
  8. ^ a b c Zweigenhaft, Richard L. (1 January 2008). "A Do Re Mi Encore". Journal of Individual Differences. 29 (1): 45–55. doi:10.1027/1614-0001.29.1.45.
  9. ^ a b Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas; Gomà-i-Freixanet, Montserrat; Furnham, Adrian; Muro, Anna (1 January 2009). "Personality, self-estimated intelligence, and uses of music: A Spanish replication and extension using structural equation modeling". Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. 3 (3): 149–155. doi:10.1037/a0015342.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas; Fagan, Patrick; Furnham, Adrian (1 January 2010). "Personality and uses of music as predictors of preferences for music consensually classified as happy, sad, complex, and social". Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. 4 (4): 205–213. doi:10.1037/a0019210.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas; Swami, Viren; Furnham, Adrian; Maakip, Ismail (1 January 2009). "The Big Five Personality Traits and Uses of Music". Journal of Individual Differences. 30 (1): 20–27. doi:10.1027/1614-0001.30.1.20.
  12. ^ a b c Kopacz, Malgorzata (2005). "Personality and music preferences: The influence of personality traits on preferences regarding musical elements". Journal of Music Therapy. 42 (3): 216–239. doi:10.1093/jmt/42.3.216. PMID 16086606.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Langmeyer, Alexandra; Guglhör-Rudan, Angelika; Tarnai, Christian (1 January 2012). "What Do Music Preferences Reveal About Personality?". Journal of Individual Differences. 33 (2): 119–130. doi:10.1027/1614-0001/a000082.
  14. ^ a b c d Rentfrow, Peter J.; Gosling, Samuel D. (1 January 2003). "The do re mi's of everyday life: The structure and personality correlates of music preferences". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 84 (6): 1236–1256. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.84.6.1236. PMID 12793587. S2CID 16489081.
  15. ^ a b Ladinig, Olivia; Schellenberg, E. Glenn (1 January 2012). "Liking unfamiliar music: Effects of felt emotion and individual differences". Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. 6 (2): 146–154. doi:10.1037/a0024671. S2CID 56162148.
  16. ^ Tekman, Hasan Gürkan; Hortaçsu, Nuran (1 October 2002). "Music and social identity: Stylistic identification as a response to musical style". International Journal of Psychology. 37 (5): 277–285. doi:10.1080/00207590244000043.
  17. ^ a b Vuoskoski, Jonna K.; Thompson, William F. (1 February 2012). "Who Enjoys Listening to Sad Music and Why?". Music Perception. 29 (3): 311–317. doi:10.1525/MP.2012.29.3.311.
  18. ^ Miranda, Dave; Morizot, Julien; Gaudreau, Patrick (27 March 2012). "Personality Metatraits and Music Preferences in Adolescence: A Pilot Study". International Journal of Adolescence and Youth. 15 (4): 289–301. doi:10.1080/02673843.2010.9748036. S2CID 145681242.
  19. ^ a b Vuoskoski, Jonna K.; Eerola, Tuomas (13 July 2011). "Measuring music-induced emotion: A comparison of emotion models, personality biases, and intensity of experiences". Musicae Scientiae. 15 (2): 159–173. doi:10.1177/1029864911403367. S2CID 144079608.
  20. ^ "Big Five personality traits", Wikipedia, 2020-10-19, retrieved 2020-11-10
  21. ^ a b Nusbaum, E. C.; Silvia, P. J. (7 October 2010). "Shivers and Timbres: Personality and the Experience of Chills From Music" (PDF). Social Psychological and Personality Science. 2 (2): 199–204. doi:10.1177/1948550610386810. S2CID 54188929.
  22. ^ Dunn, Peter G.; de Ruyter, Boris; Bouwhuis, Don G. (16 March 2011). "Toward a better understanding of the relation between music preference, listening behavior, and personality". Psychology of Music. 40 (4): 411–428. doi:10.1177/0305735610388897. S2CID 54736250.
  23. ^ Rentfrow, Peter J.; Goldberg, Lewis R.; Levitin, Daniel J. (1 January 2011). "The structure of musical preferences: A five-factor model". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 100 (6): 1139–1157. doi:10.1037/a0022406. PMC 3138530. PMID 21299309.
  24. ^ a b Brown, R. A. (1 August 2012). "Music preferences and personality among Japanese university students". International Journal of Psychology. 47 (4): 259–268. doi:10.1080/00207594.2011.631544. PMID 22248342.
  25. ^ a b Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas; Fagan, Patrick; Furnham, Adrian (November 2010). "Personality and uses of music as predictors of preferences for music consensually classified as happy, sad, complex, and social". Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. 4 (4): 205–213. doi:10.1037/a0019210.
  26. ^ Vuoskoski, Jonna K.; Thompson, William F.; McIlwain, Doris; Eerola, Tuomas (February 2012). "Who enjoys listening to sad music and why?". Music Perception. 29 (3): 311–317. doi:10.1525/mp.2012.29.3.311.
  27. ^ a b Rawlings, D.; Ciancarelli, V. (1 October 1997). "Music Preference and the Five-Factor Model of the NEO Personality Inventory". Psychology of Music. 25 (2): 120–132. doi:10.1177/0305735697252003. S2CID 145601419.
  28. ^ Nusbaum, Emily C.; Silvia, Paul J. (7 October 2010). "Shivers and Timbres: Personality and the Experience of Chills From Music". Social Psychological and Personality Science. 2 (2): 199–204. doi:10.1177/1948550610386810. S2CID 54188929.
  29. ^ Hunter, Patrick G; Schellenberg, Glen E. (20 October 2010). "Interactive effects of personality and frequency of exposure on liking for music". Personality and Individual Differences. 50 (2): 175–179. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2010.09.021.
  30. ^ Djikic, Maja (August 2011). "The effect of music and lyrics on personality". Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. 5 (3): 237–240. doi:10.1037/a0022313.
  31. ^ a b c Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas; Gomà-i-Freixanet, Montserrat; Furnham, Adrian; Muro, Anna (1 January 2009). "Personality, self-estimated intelligence, and uses of music: A Spanish replication and extension using structural equation modeling". Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. 3 (3): 149–155. doi:10.1037/a0015342.
  32. ^ Steele, Anita; Young, Sylvester (2011). "A descriptive study of myers-briggs personality types of professional music educators and music therapists with comparisons to undergraduate majors". Journal of Music Therapy. 48 (1): 55–73. doi:10.1093/jmt/48.1.55. PMID 21866713.
  33. ^ Avila, Christina; Furnham, Adrian; McClelland, Alastair (9 November 2011). "The influence of distracting familiar vocal music on cognitive performance of introverts and extraverts". Psychology of Music. 40 (1): 84–93. doi:10.1177/0305735611422672. S2CID 145340833.
  34. ^ Steele, Anita Louise; Young, Sylvester (Spring 2011). "A descriptive study of Myers-Briggs personality types of professional music educators and music therapists with comparisons to undergraduate majors". Journal of Music Therapy. 48 (1): 55–73. doi:10.1093/jmt/48.1.55. PMID 21866713.
  35. ^ Ladinig, Olivia; Schellenberg, Glenn E. (May 2012). "Liking unfamiliar music: Effects of felt emotion and individual differences". Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. 6 (2): 146–154. doi:10.1037/a0024671. S2CID 56162148.
  36. ^ North, Adrian; Hargreaves, David (1996). "Situational influences on reported musical preference". Psychomusicology. 15 (1–2): 30–45. doi:10.1037/h0094081.
  37. ^ McCown, William; Keiser, Ross; Mulhearn, Shea; Williamson, David (1997). "The role of personality and gender in preference for exaggerated bass in music". Personality and Individual Differences. 23 (4): 543–547. doi:10.1016/s0191-8869(97)00085-8.
  38. ^ Barret, Frederick S.; Grimm, Kevin J.; Robins, Richard W.; Wildschut, Tim; Constantine, Sedikides; Janata, Petr (June 2010). "Music-evoked nostalgia: Affect, memory, and personality". Emotion. 10 (3): 390–403. doi:10.1037/a0019006. PMID 20515227.
  39. ^ Crowther, R; Durkin, K (1982). "Sex- and age-related differences in the musical behavior, interests and attitudes towards music of 232 secondary school students". Educational Studies. 8 (2): 131–139. doi:10.1080/0305569820080206.
  40. ^ Schwartz, Kelly; Fouts, Gregory (2003). "Music preferences, personality style, and developmental issues of adolescents". Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 32 (3): 205–213. doi:10.1023/a:1022547520656. S2CID 41849910.
  41. ^ Rentfrow, Peter J.; Goldberg, Lewis R.; Levitin, Daniel J. (June 2011). "The Structure of Musical Preferences: A Five-Factor Model". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 100 (6): 1139–1157. doi:10.1037/a0022406. ISSN 0022-3514. PMC 3138530. PMID 21299309.
  42. ^ Rentfrow, Peter; Gosling, Samuel. [The Do Re Mi’s of Everyday Life: The Structure and Personality Correlates of Music Preferences "The Do Re Mi's of Everyday Life: The Structure and Personality Correlates of Music Preferences"] Check |url= value (help). PMID 12793587. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  43. ^ Pool, Jonathan; Odell-Miller, Helen (2011). "Aggression in music therapy and its role in creativity with reference to personality disorder". The Arts in Psychotherapy. 38 (3): 169–177. doi:10.1016/j.aip.2011.04.003.
  44. ^ Schäfer, Thomas (2016-03-17). "The Goals and Effects of Music Listening and Their Relationship to the Strength of Music Preference". PLOS ONE. 11 (3): e0151634. Bibcode:2016PLoSO..1151634S. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0151634. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 4795651. PMID 26985998.
  45. ^ Sridharan, Devarajan; Levitin, Daniel J.; Chafe, Chris H.; Berger, Jonathan; Menon, Vinod (2007-08-02). "Neural Dynamics of Event Segmentation in Music: Converging Evidence for Dissociable Ventral and Dorsal Networks". Neuron. 55 (3): 521–532. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2007.07.003. ISSN 0896-6273. PMID 17678862. S2CID 6846417.
  46. ^ Lehmann, Janina A. M.; Seufert, Tina (2017). "The Influence of Background Music on Learning in the Light of Different Theoretical Perspectives and the Role of Working Memory Capacity". Frontiers in Psychology. 8: 1902. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01902. ISSN 1664-1078. PMC 5671572. PMID 29163283.
  47. ^ Pettijohn, Terry F.; Williams, Greg M.; Carter, Tiffany C. (26 November 2010). "Music for the Seasons: Seasonal Music Preferences in College Students". Current Psychology. 29 (4): 328–345. doi:10.1007/s12144-010-9092-8. S2CID 56037002.
  48. ^ North, Adrian; Hargreaves, David (1995). "Subjective complexity, familiarity, and liking for popular music". Psychomusicology. 14 (1–2): 77–93. doi:10.1037/h0094090.