What your music taste says about your personality

Ben Ambridge@benambridge
Tuesday 30 August 2016 17:00
Showbiz

STOMP is the name of a musical percussion show that has enjoyed huge success worldwide. It is also the name of a questionnaire that is used to assess people’s tastes in music: the Short Test Of Musical Preferences.

For the following items, please indicate your basic preference level for the genres listed, using the scale provided.

• To find out how much you like music that is Reflective and Complex, take the average of your scores for Blues, Classical, Folk and Jazz (i.e., add these scores together, then divide by 4).

• To find out how much you like music that is Intense and Rebellious, take the average of your scores for Alternative, Heavy Metal and Rock (i.e., add up, then divide by 3).

• To find out how much you like music that is Upbeat and Conventional, take the average of your scores for Country, Pop, Religious and Soundtracks (i.e., add up, then divide by 4).

• To find out how much you like music that is Energetic and Rhythmic, take the average of your scores for Electronic, Hip-Hop/Rap and Soul (i.e., add up, then divide by 3).

This is what your music taste says about your personality.

People who prefer Reflective and Complex music (Blues, Classical, Folk and Jazz) score highly on openness to experience, and see themselves as unathletic, politically liberal and intelligent (and, indeed, perform well on objective IQ tests).

People who prefer Intense and Rebellious music (Alternative, Heavy Metal and Rock) show almost exactly the same profile, except that they are more likely to see themselves as athletic.

People who prefer Upbeat and Conventional music (Country, Pop, Religious and Soundtracks) are the polar opposite. They have low scores for openness to experience and intelligence (again, according to both self-report questionnaires and objective IQ tests) but tend to be agreeable, extroverted and conscientious, and see themselves as attractive, wealthy and athletic, as well as politically conservative. This group is the least prone to depression.

People who prefer Energetic and Rhythmic music (Electronic, Rap/Hip-Hop and Soul) are also extroverted, agreeable, attractive and athletic. However, they do not share the political conservatism, wealth or lower intelligence scores of the Upbeat and Conventional group.

So the next time you meet a stranger and are curious to know her political views, you can get a very good idea simply by asking whether she prefers jazz or soundtracks.

This extract was published with permission from the author. Psy-Q by Ben Ambridge is available now

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