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A current Stanford study found scientific correlation between music and personality. Image: Shutterstock


Recent research study from the Stanford Graduate college of business confirms what countless have to be saying because that years: The music you hear to states a lot about your personality and preferences. That can also significantly affect mood.

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The collection of research studies from music psychologists in ~ the Stanford Graduate institution of Business, who Advisory Council consists of Bill Ford of basic Atlantic, william Barnum Jr. Of Brentwood Associates, and also Riley Bechtel of The Bechtel Group, aims to quantify how music influence us and what that says around our personalities. This is vital not simply from a mental perspective, but also for business: the music industry, specifically streaming platforms like Spotify and also Pandora, could benefit from this knowledge in terms of figuring the end the best kind of music come play for users. Music therapy and healthcare can additionally use this data to recognize the best kinds that music to play for desired results.

Several years of research, two substantial studies entailing thousands of participants, and the participation of an global team carried the Stanford examine to life. The researcher were able to involved some solid conclusions, consisting of that personality identify music preferences even an ext than execute demographics or socioeconomics.

“By examining the links in between musical taste and personality, we deserve to improve our expertise of how to use music come make civilization happier and also healthier,” said Michal Kosinski, Assistant Professor the Organizational actions at Stanford and a member the the research team.

The Stanford study likewise did the vital work the objectively categorizing different kinds that music therefore that scientific results deserve to be established. Sure, we have actually categories like “R&B” and “country,” however the actual definition of these deserve to vary. When it comes to scientific study, however, specifics room absolutely vital.

That’s why the study focused on three main dimensions: arousal, valence, and depth. “Arousal” needs to do with tempo (fast or slow) and volume (loud or soft); “valence” needs to do with whether the song can be taken as happy or sad; and “depth” is determined by the complexity both that the music itself and the emotions that encourages.

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“The resulting musical spectrum gives the researchers with a typical language to explain differences in musical style and musical preference,” Kosinki explained. (For examples, try taking the survey offered in the study.)

Previous work-related in music psychology has actually looked at exactly how we usage music come express ours personalities. Professor Adrian north of Heriot-Watt University noted that “people perform actually specify themselves v music and also relate come other world through it.”

But that was quick to add that stereotypes about musical genres have actually no ar in a scientific study the music and personality. “The general public has held a stereotype of hefty metal fans being suicidally depressed and being a hazard to themselves and society in general,” the said. “But they are quite vulnerable things. Aside from their age, they’re basically the same kind of human . Too many of heavy metal fans will certainly tell you the they additionally like Wagner because it’s big, loud, and brash. There’s also a feeling of theatre in both heavy rock and also classical music, and also I doubt that’s what they’re really trying to obtain at when they listen.”

There’s tho a long method to go when it involves studying what our musical tastes say about us. However, the Stanford study and Professor North’s work have actually done the heavy lifting of producing universal meanings of genres and also getting the conversation started.