What Your Music Taste Says About You

October 29, 2019


Photo Credits: Achona Online/ Kasey Brennan/ Pic Collage

According to researcher Adrian North, the reason people sometimes feel defensive about their taste in music might be related to how much it relates to attitudes and personality.

Your music taste is far more than just songs that you enjoy listening to. It is an in-depth look as to who you are. Music taste can affect one’s style, attitude, personality, and culture. So, how has this been proven? Psychologists Jason Rentfrow and Sam Gosling conducted research proving that knowing the type of music you listen to can accurately predict your personality. Another study found that the type of music you listen to may correlate with the way your brain processes information. Researchers at Heriot-Watt University studied more than 36,000 participants around the world. Participants were asked to rate over 104 different musical styles and to give information about their personalities. Another study suggested that gender, age, social class, and cultural background all play important roles in musical taste. Research may either confirm or clear up any possible stereotypes about certain listeners.

“I think music can affect us because it can change our mood and determine what we spend time thinking about,” said Bella Addison (’20).

According to research, here’s what your music taste says about your personality:

Pop Music

Listeners who enjoy the top charts tend to be honest, extroverted, and traditional. Although pop listeners are hard-working and have high-self esteem, researchers suggest that they may be less creative and more uneasy. 

“I love listening to pop music, and some of my favorite artists are Shawn Mendes, Ed Sheeran, and Sam Smith. I would say that I am sort of extroverted, however, I consider myself to be a creative and unconventional person, which does not exactly match the description,” said Tess Ricco (’20).


Rap and Hip-Hop Music

Rap and Hip-Hop listeners are not aggressive or violent, despite stereotypes. Rather, rap listeners are outgoing and have high self-esteem.

Another study shows that rap listeners possibly share a quality with famous rapper Kanye West, known as “blirtatiousness”, which is the tendency to blurt out thoughts as soon as they are formed.

“I would say that this description very accurately matches my personality, considering I am a very outgoing person and I have good self-esteem,” said Nicole Sakre (’22).

Country Music

Unsurprisingly, country listeners tend to be unpretentious and empathetic individuals. They are also hardworking, outgoing, and conventional. They also tend to be more conservative and rank low on openness to experience. 

Despite the country songs surrounding heartbreak, country listeners tend to be very emotionally-stable individuals. 

“Most of the description is true, and I can especially relate to being outgoing and emotionally stable,” said Abigail Weaver (’21).

Rock/ Heavy Metal Music

Despite the aggressiveness of rock and heavy metal music, rock and metal fans tend to be overall calm and gentle. Research also suggests that rock and metal fans tend to be more introverted and have low-self esteem.

Diving deeper into the rock and heavy metal genre, classic rock fans tend to be at ease with themselves, but are the most self-centered out of all music listeners. Indie rock fans tend to be more creative and open to new experiences, but have low-self esteem and work ethic. Punk rock fans tend to be intense, energetic, and low on empathy.

“I am unsure if I can say that the personality description represents who I am. I listen to classic rock, however I do not consider myself to be a self-centered person,” said Julianne Hahn (’20).

Indie Music

Indie music listeners tend to be introverted, creative, and intellectual. According to research, they also are less hardworking and gentle. Listeners of this genre also tend to share passivity, anxiousness, and low-self esteem.

“I love listening to indie and alternative music, and I would say that every aspect listed above very accurately mirrors my personality,” said Sam Cuttle (’20).

Dance/ EDM Music

According to research, EDM listeners are typically assertive and outgoing. They also tend to be open to experience, but rank low on gentleness.

“I consider myself to be someone who is outgoing, open to experience, and assertive. However, I also see myself as a relatively calm and gentle person,” said Bella Addison (’20).


Classical Music

Individuals who prefer classical music tend to be introverted and more at ease with both themselves and the world around them. They are also creative and have good self-esteem. 

Research also confirms the stereotype that classical music fans also may be smarter, according to a 2009 comparison of students’ SAT scores with their most-liked bands on Facebook. The study found that students who like Beethoven had an average SAT score of 137; more than 100 points higher than fans of the second-place entry (indie instrumentalist Sufjan Stevens).

“Regular classical music soothes and calms me down more than anything. I feel as if these descriptions accurately mirror who I am, and I also feel like those who listen to classical music tend to be methodical and soothing,” said Caroline Lamoureux (’20).

Jazz, Blues and Soul Music

Individuals who listen to jazz, blues, or soul music tend to be more extroverted and have high self-esteem. They also were found to be very intelligent, creative, and at ease.

“I wrote this paper on jazz music once and it was basically the idea as jazz as an art form and how it is based on the idea of music theory-based improvision. The description for jazz personalities very much mirrors my own, but I would also conclude from my own findings that those who listen to jazz are high energy and spontaneous,” said Lamoureux (’20).

To find out what type of music your personality type listens to most, take the 16personalities test, then click the link below.


“I consider my music taste to be a big factor in my life, I think of it as a way for people to see my personality because every song has a certain energy with the lyrics and the music itself. My music taste has influenced my style and other things about me because I try to match that energy,” said Hahn (’20).

What genre of music do you listen to most?

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  • GeoffMay 13, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    I’m a hip hop head, through and through. I still collect hip hop records, stay up and current on the underground and mainstream hip hop scene and it’s trends, but I am not overly self confident, although I am relatively assertive and am good at establishing boundaries. I’m just not terribly outgoing. And I’m not very gentle or empathetic.

  • Bill McDanielFeb 15, 2021 at 9:07 am

    I feel I have changed as I’ve gotten older.
    I grew up with the 70’s rock and still enjoy the Eagles, Boston, Aerosmith…. But, I listen to a lot of country now and enjoy it, I even enjoy a bit of classical. My real joy in music has become jazz.
    What does that say about me? I seem to be all over your spectrum.