Author Topic: What does your music taste say about your personality?  (Read 2541 times)

What does your music taste say about your personality?
« on: September 05, 2008, 10:47:42 AM »
As is customary for me on Friday, I can't really be bothered doing work and am spending my time looking at stuff on the internet and came across this on the BBC's website:

Music tastes link to personality

The crux of it is that "musical tastes and personality type are closely related, according to a study of more than 36,000 people from around the world."

The article then goes on to say which musical genres indicate certain character traits.  At the moment I am listening to a fair bit of rap, folk and indie music which indicates that I have high self-esteem, am outgoing, have low self esteem, am creative, not hardworking and am gentle.

Folk doesn't seem to be on the BBC's link, but I would imagine that it has the same personality characteristics as indie.  It seems quite an interesting experiment (to me anyway), although the end results quoted on the BBC's website appear to be fairly broad-brushed, however, I would say that my at-a-glance result is indicative of my split personality.

It's quite interesting seeing how things like hardworking personality traits are grouped (in pop and country and western), etc.

Link to the questionnaire (it doesn't give you any results unfortunately):

http://www.peopleintomusic.com/

Would be interested to see what other people's personality traits are, based on this research.

Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2008, 10:50:53 AM »
Sounds like a load of shite to me.

Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2008, 11:02:53 AM »
Sounds like a load of shite to me.

Thanks for the insightful comment, most people would have perhaps thought that, but you went ahead and posted anyway so, er, congratulations.

Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2008, 11:05:38 AM »
In my experience, "high self-esteem" usually just means "complete twat"!

Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2008, 11:08:35 AM »
Thanks for the insightful comment, most people would have perhaps thought that, but you went ahead and posted anyway so, er, congratulations.

I was going to post something a bit more constructive... but I didn't

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Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2008, 11:09:30 AM »
I think that a better indication of a person's personality would the the breadth of their tastes, rather than the tastes themselves. For example, they talk about classical and heavy metal lovers being similar, but that could be because both of those have little crossover with the other genres listed, and their fans will have a 'narrower' church of music in their collection.

Although I think a lot of music fans will have something to say about classical music being lumped together as one genre! Though they are probably among the many millions who would dismiss this survey as being a massive load of balls.


Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2008, 04:22:11 PM »
Sounds like a load of shite to me.

Not really. I only have to spend a short amount of time with a person to figure out what type of music they like, a quick look on their myspace/facebook page invariably proves consistent. It's not exactly brain surgery.

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Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2008, 04:25:13 PM »
there is no folk music in the study. People who like folk music are obviously too nuanced and interesting to be pigeon holed.

and don't tell me country and western is like folk music, cos it aint

Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2008, 04:28:59 PM »
Folk music lovers are all boring beardy weirdies.

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Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2008, 05:02:46 PM »
I think what my taste in music mostly says is that I'm well aware that people suck and that when I say people suck, that especially includes me.

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Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2008, 05:04:06 PM »
Folk music lovers are all boring beardy weirdies.

I'm outraged!

and just for that, I'm not going to lend you my copy of Bright Phoebus by Lal and Mike Waterson

Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2008, 05:07:03 PM »
Big pile of gash. What does my music collection say about me when I don't exclusively (or even predominately) listen to just one genre?

Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2008, 05:13:17 PM »
Their classifications rely on being able to shove your music into categories.  Two of my favourite "artists" are the Bonzos and Kate Bush, and I wouldn't call either of them indie but have no idea how else to classify them. 

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Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2008, 05:13:45 PM »
I know lots of people, including myself, who don't fall into any of those brackets. And I thought universities were places for intelligent thinking.

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Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2008, 05:32:34 PM »
Their classifications rely on being able to shove your music into categories.  Two of my favourite "artists" are the Bonzos and Kate Bush, and I wouldn't call either of them indie but have no idea how else to classify them. 

This is the problem I'm having.  What category does sixties psychedelic pop fall under, Classic Rock or Pop (or both?) 

What is "Pop" music?  Is that modern pop, general pop (which encompasses seventies glam, novelty records, eighties electronic music, Cliff Richard, Merseybeat, Britpop and God knows what else besides) or something else entirely?

Is Northern Soul Dance music or pop music?  Etc. Etc. Etc.

Probably if I sent them these questions the only conclusion they'd draw is that I was an awkward bastard.

Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2008, 05:53:55 PM »
OK, well looking at the actual list it doesn't make much sense. I thought they were just saying that people with certain personalities liked certain artists, not pigeonholing each vague 'genre'.

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Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2008, 09:30:50 PM »
OK, well looking at the actual list it doesn't make much sense. I thought they were just saying that people with certain personalities liked certain artists, not pigeonholing each vague 'genre'.

Whilst I agree with you that you can generally tell what type of music people like, I think it's harder with people in a certain age range (30 plus, I'd say).  Teenagers and people in their early twenties are much more likely to wear their influences very obviously on their sleeves, whereas it's nigh-on impossible to tell if some 35 year old office worker in a suit likes Morrissey or not.  I've got it wrong countless times.

Personality types aren't usually much of a giveaway either- some people have miserable lives and want escapism through their music, and others have equally crappy lives and look up to artists who they can 'relate' to as a result. 

It would be interesting to do a test on this, though - to just line up 50 randoms, spend five minutes with them each and not talk about music, and then find out how on-the-nail people were each time about their tastes.

Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2008, 10:21:09 PM »
I am occasionally surprised by someone saying they like a particular band (My Dad liking Arctic Monkeys, for one), and I think it's true when you say it gets harder to tell as people get older. It's rare though for someone to say they like music and for me to be really surprised though.

People in the UK are lucky as radio and music TV plays a good variety of stuff, but in the US each station plays a limited selection of a particular style of music, and as the US is so polarised people gravitate to one or the other and don't deviate. There's no Radio 1 equivalent, just shit rap radio, shit hard rock radio, shit pop radio, and no "indie" played on any of them (bar college radio). It's like it's already determined what music you will listen to regardless of your personality based on your background or race. Thus it's generally easier to tell what someone likes even just by looking at them purely because access to anything but the limited bare minimum isn't easily available. It has nothing to do with personality though, but I think the different artists within those genres can attract certain personalities.

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Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2008, 11:17:53 PM »
"Indie" is a meaningless category, since there is no such style of music. The original meaning of the term related to the record companies it was signed to, and then even that meagre idea fell away.

I like various things that came out on indie labels in the 70s, 80s and 90s, most of which wouldn't be recognised as "indie" by teenage wankers nowadays. Conversely I have no interest in the stuff they would call "indie". And I don't like it for being "old school indie" or any such nonsense.

Jay-Z has his own record company and that makes him the biggest indie performer in the world now. He's got as much right to call himself that as Noel Gallagher has.

Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2008, 11:23:54 PM »
"Indie" is a meaningless category, since there is no such style of music. The original meaning of the term related to the record companies it was signed to, and then even that meagre idea fell away.

I like various things that came out on indie labels in the 70s, 80s and 90s, most of which wouldn't be recognised as "indie" by teenage wankers nowadays. Conversely I have no interest in the stuff they would call "indie". And I don't like it for being "old school indie" or any such nonsense.

Jay-Z has his own record company and that makes him the biggest indie performer in the world now. He's got as much right to call himself that as Noel Gallagher has.

I just use it do describe any alternative poppy guitar stuff, although I know that's not the real meaning of the word, as I can't think of another word for it. 'Alternative' brings to mind more American rockier stuff like Smashing Pumpkins and Jane's Addiction to me. It is definitely a misnomer, even Blur were considered an indie band despite being on a major label.

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Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2008, 12:09:15 AM »
And if you like classical and straight up gangsta rap in equal measures?. You're an introverted extrovert!.

What a load of bollocks.

Although I think a lot of music fans will have something to say about classical music being lumped together as one genre!

Very true. Someone who likes Buxtehude isn't necessarily going to be tracking down John Adams cds. That goes for jazz and all the others as well. I know plenty of fans of Fitzgerald and Armstrong who can't hack John Coltrane in his wilder extended recordings. Its all a very dumb Richard and Judy standard bit of quasi research.

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Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2008, 01:09:16 AM »
BBC have been running with this across all media today. It's intrigued me greatly, so I've just filled in the questionnaire and had a nosey at the story aaaaaaaaargh! linked to. Like most of the other posters here my music tastes always have been and always will be very broad (I'm not going to use that word), meaning that according to that list I must have a multi-personality disorder of some sort. It's a shame as I like the idea of the study. Although I've currently got The Doors playing and Metallica queued, my predominant current music taste is undoubtedly reggae. Here's what the BBC say that study says about us reggae lovers:
Quote
High self-esteem, creative, not hardworking, outgoing, gentle and at ease.
In order, I fulfil those traits thusly: no, no, no, no, yes, no.

Music means different things to different people, and that is my own conclusion drawn from purely observed and anecdotal evidence. Sadly, I think that's a far more accurate "truth" than that suggested by that study.

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Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2008, 01:17:38 AM »
What is "at ease" anyway? Had someone asked me for a definition a week ago, I would have said it was something like "high self esteem" or "gentle".

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Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2008, 01:29:47 AM »
Well, considering I'm a nervy, borderline paranoid sort most of the time I more likely qualify as ill-at-ease.

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Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2008, 12:11:43 PM »
It isn't what you listen to, it's how you listen to it.

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Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2008, 03:47:55 PM »
After reading that,

Does anyone actually just listen to one genre of music any more? I really don't think people have such narrow tastes now. When I was at high school I was into only a few things, but now my tastes are all over the place.

I really do feel sorry for people who only like one kind of music.

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Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2008, 06:19:59 PM »
After reading that,

Does anyone actually just listen to one genre of music any more? I really don't think people have such narrow tastes now. When I was at high school I was into only a few things, but now my tastes are all over the place.

I really do feel sorry for people who only like one kind of music.

I was about to say that. What about people that aren't twats and like more than one type of music. Do they have both high and low self-esteem?

Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2008, 08:43:51 PM »
"Indie" is a meaningless category, since there is no such style of music. The original meaning of the term related to the record companies it was signed to, and then even that meagre idea fell away.

I like various things that came out on indie labels in the 70s, 80s and 90s, most of which wouldn't be recognised as "indie" by teenage wankers nowadays. Conversely I have no interest in the stuff they would call "indie". And I don't like it for being "old school indie" or any such nonsense.

Jay-Z has his own record company and that makes him the biggest indie performer in the world now. He's got as much right to call himself that as Noel Gallagher has.

Well precisely. I would say that most of the indie kids I see about are very high in self esteem, and cash, and trust funds. Indie means nothing, actually, it generally means something that I don't particularly like and people I don't have much in common with. It's just a bunch of bollocks sweeping generalisations.

And metal people, as defined by the common stereotype, I would say they're gentle perhaps, but through repressed anger, hence the angry posturing in a lot of the music. Again, it's not really a rule though, just a generalisation.

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Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2008, 08:59:12 PM »
What a ludicrously narrow selection of musical types.

There's many a band I like which you couldn't remotely fit into one single category there.

Distinctly poorly put together as a questionnaire.

Plus also, why on earth does any feel the need to research the idea that you can tell what someone is like by what things they like?

Firstly - duh! Of course you can get an idea.

Secondly - that idea will almost certainly be accurate to a very shallow level if you're only looking at broad brushstrokes of musical taste categorised in ludicrously large pigeon holes.

For example, I like a lot of electronic music - but hate what passes as "dance" music these days - which is also pretty much pop/chart music anyway a lot of the time - so those categories are pointless.

Let alone it doesn't seem to include R&B on the list - which is quite frankly ludicrous to miss off as it's a huge market.

Perhaps the people who put the study together thought "Ah - that's like rap music isn't it? It's certainly all black people doing it..."

Idiotic.

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Re: What does your music taste say about your personality?
« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2008, 11:29:29 PM »

And metal people, as defined by the common stereotype, I would say they're gentle perhaps, but through repressed anger, hence the angry posturing in a lot of the music. Again, it's not really a rule though, just a generalisation.

Actually, a lot of the metallers and goths I've met have been from fairly strict Catholic backgrounds, which is the stereotype I always look out for.  In particular, I think you have to be from a certain religious background to find a lot of the death metal lyrics in any way shocking or surprising, and from a fairly conservative environment or background to think that anything Marilyn Manson is posturing about this week is anything less than general common sense (apart from perhaps his more extreme outbursts).

Otherwise, though... I don't know.  My friends have really broad tastes, quite honestly.  They're as likely to love Trance as enjoy sixties psych, indie, post rock, etc... so I'm quite sceptical about this survey.