Musical taste linked to personality
Heavy metal fans are gentle, indie music listeners lack self-esteem and lovers of pop music are uncreative, according to research.
The study on the links between personality and music taste has been conducted by a psychology professor over the last three years.
He found that country and western fans are hard-working, rap fans outgoing and jazz and classical music supporters are innovative and bursting with self-confidence.
Contrary to the stereotype, heavy metal fans are gentle and at ease with themselves but they tend not to be hardworking.
Those who listen to heavy metal and classical music share character traits, according to the research, of being creative, at ease and introverted.
But classical music fans have high self-esteem while heavy rock fans lack self-belief.
Heriot-Watt University psychology professor Adrian North’s research into how music taste reflects personality and impacts on relationships is continuing.
He said: “We have always suspected a link between music taste and personality. This is the first time that we’ve been able to look at it in real detail. No-one has ever done this on this scale before. 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.”
Prof North said the research could have many uses in marketing, adding: “If you know a person’s music preference you can tell what kind of person they are, who to sell to. There are obvious implications for the music industry who are are worried about declining CD sales.”
More than 36,000 people around the globe took part in the survey, the biggest of its type ever conducted. They were asked to rate 104 musical styles in the study and were also questioned on aspects of their personality.