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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Music of The Heart: Music and Personality, March 19th

Men's Discussion
Wednesday, March 19th, 2014, 7-9PM

Hosted by Donnie Vella

What Does Your Taste In Music Reveal About Your Personality?

Could the playlists lurking on your iPod really reveal information about your personality? Research conducted by psychologists suggests that knowing the type of music you listen to can actually lead to surprisingly accurate predictions about your personality.

For example, researchers found that people could make accurate judgments about an individual's levels of extraversion, creativity and open-mindedness after listening to ten of their favorite songs. Extraverts tend to seek out songs with heavy bass lines, while those who enjoy more complex styles such as jazz and classical music tend to be more creative and have higher IQ-scores.

The following are just some of the personality traits linked to certain musical styles:

Do you prefer to listen to the top 40 hits? Do the latest tracks from Rhianna, Selena Gomez and Flo Rida make up your workout mix? If so, chances are that you also tend to be extraverted, honest and conventional. While pop music lovers are hard-working and have high self-esteem, researchers suggests that they tend to be less creative and more uneasy.

Rap and Hip/Hop
Are Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre more your style? In spite of the stereotype that rap lovers are more aggressive or violent, researchers have actually found no such link. Rap fans do tend to have high self-esteem and are usually outgoing.

Would you rather watch CMT instead of MTV? Country music fans are typically hardworking, conventional and outgoing. While country songs are often centered on heartbreak, people who gravitate towards this genre tend to be very emotionally stable.

Rock / Heavy Metal
Despite the sometimes aggressive image that rock music and heavy metal project, researchers found that fans of this style of music are usually quite gentle. They tend to be creative, but are often introverted and may suffer from low self-esteem.

Do you love seeking out obscure bands and indie artists? Fans of the indie genre are typically introverted, intellectual and creative. According to researchers, they also tend to be less hard-working and less gentle. Passivity, anxiousness and low self-esteem are other common personality characteristics.

Do you love the fast-paced rhythms of dance music? According to researchers, people who prefer dance music are usually outgoing and assertive.

Classical music lovers are typically more introverted, but are also at ease with themselves and the world around them. They are creative and have a good sense of self-esteem.

Jazz, Blues and Soul

People who enjoy jazz, blues or soul music were found to be more extraverted with high self-esteem. They also tend to be very creative, intelligent and at ease.
Professor Adrian North of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK, has undertaken the largest study so far of musical tastes and personality type. He is an expert on music psychology and has carried out extensive research on the social and applied psychology of music, in particular the relationship between pop music culture and deviant behavior in adolescence, music and consumer behavior, and the role of musical preference in everyday life. The reason people sometimes feel defensive about their taste in music might be related to how much it relates to attitudes and personality. "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," he explained.

He believes that his results show why people can get defensive about what they like to listen to, as it is likely to be profoundly linked to their outlook on life. The study also demonstrates the “tribal function” of musical taste that can explain why people often bond over music.

North noted that classical and heavy metal music both attracts listeners with similar personalities but dissimilar ages. Younger members of the personality group apparently go for heavy metal, while their older counterparts prefer classical. However, both have the same basic motivation: to hear something dramatic and theatrical, a shared “love of the grandiose,” he said.

“The general public has held a stereotype of heavy metal fans being suicidally depressed and being a danger to themselves and society in general,” he said, “but they are quite delicate things. Aside from their age, they’re basically the same kind of person [as a classical music fan]. Lots of heavy metal fans will tell you that they also like Wagner, because it’s big, loud and brash. There’s also a sense of theater in both heavy rock and classical music, and I suspect that this is what they’re really trying to get at when they listen.”

The next time you are putting together a playlist to listen to during your commute or workout, consider how your personality might be reflected in your song choices.
 Music is tied to emotions and songs touch us in different ways.  You are attracted to certain songs because of how they make you feel. Songs transport our minds and hearts to places that make us happy, sad, excited, horny, etc. 

The Group Assignment is as follows:

Choose from your personal Musical library a song that really speaks to you, bring it in on your ipod, iphone, mp3 player, Cd Disk, Cell phone,  and share it with the group and talk about how it makes you feel.  Does the song inspire you, fulfill you, make you remember a past event or person? Is it a song that makes you want to go out and have crazy wild sex with the first person that you are attracted to?

Let’s make this a fun informative discussion where we can share and relate to each other and learn about each others musical tastes and who knows you may find a new song or two that you like….

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