Research identifies links between personality and musical tastes

31 October 2016
The study shows that peoples musical tastes are related to categories of occupational personality.

Research conducted by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) has linked five personality types to the pace and style of people’s favourite music.

After studying the tracks chosen by more than 2500 guests over 70 years of the BBC’s Desert Island Discs Radio 4 programme, a team led by Dr Don Knox, a senior lecturer in audio technology, classified music to indicate its style and then looked for relationships between occupational personality types and music preferences.

Dr Knox said: “The study shows that people’s musical tastes are related to categories of occupational personality, and that our expressed music preferences communicate how we see ourselves and how we want to be seen.”

The occupational personality types and associated music preferences are:

·         Realistic (construction worker, driver, pilot) – fast tempo music, especially if songs are short and loud. You prefer upbeat, positive music.

·         Artistic (writer, teacher, actor, architect) – quiet, sad ‘sophisticated’ music such as low tempo classical, jazz and opera music.

·         Social (clergy, counsellor, trainer, teacher, nurse) – contemporary music, pop, funk and country.

·         Enterprising (flight attendant, salesperson, lawyer, accountant) – rock, pop, with a preference for longer tracks.

·         Investigative (physician, economist, historian, engineer) – rock, alternative and electronica, with a preference for more instrumental music.

To request the research journal in full, visit here.