Which song is your favorite song

What your favorite song says about you ...

It has long been known that musical taste and personality are closely related. Factors such as age, character traits and personal values ​​are reflected in the preferences for musical styles. Open-minded people prefer blues, jazz or classical music for new experiences, while conservative listeners like pop, film soundtracks or soul. These results are often cited in psychological studies, but they are seldom particularly meaningful.

The Camebridge doctoral student David Greenberg, himself a trained saxophone player, therefore investigated with his research team whether our way of thinking could not say more about what we like to hear. He and his team differentiated between empathic and systematic thinkers. The empathic thinks in terms of feelings and can better empathize with others, while the systematic prefers to analyze his environment in terms of rules and patterns.

For their study, researchers recruited over 4,000 participants via the Facebook app myPersonality, had them fill out questionnaires and listen to over 50 pieces of music. The researchers found that the more the participants could be assigned to systematic thinkers, the more they preferred to listen to music with a high degree of complexity. These arrangements consist of several different musical motifs and sound less pleasing due to dissonances. Systematics like to listen to songs like God save the Queen by the Sex Pistols, Metallicas Enter Sandman or Alexander Scriabin's Etude Opus 65 No. 3. The empathic thinkers, on the other hand, preferred soulful, warm and lovely music, such as Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah and Norah Jones Come Away with me or All of me by Billie Holiday.

The preference for lovely or complex pieces of music also proved to be resistant to the genre. The researchers played a selection of jazz pieces to the participants. Empathetic thinkers liked sweet melodies better, while systematic thinkers wanted more complex avant-garde jazz.

It is also clear to Greenberg that money can be made from this knowledge. He told the university: “A lot of money is spent on algorithms that decide which music you might want to listen to, for example on Spotify or Apple Music. If the providers knew how an individual thinks, in the future they could better tailor their music recommendations to that person. "


Text: now-Redaktion - Photo: photocase.com / Flügelwesen