Music and Personality Connections


Gabby Hanson, Staff Writer/Media Production

There are hundreds of different genres of music out there, almost as if there is one for everyone. Music is a great way to express how you are feeling and connect with people who share a similar taste in music as you. 

However, have you ever met someone with the same music taste and noticed you connect with them on such a deep and personal level, almost like you are the same person? What if the reason you guys listen to the same music is because you actually have so much in common?

Researcher Adrian North at Heriot-Watt University has conducted a study proving that, in fact, music does influence your personality, or better yet, your personality influences your preferred music taste (Cherry 3-4).  In fact, the study has found similar patterns when it comes to the type of people who listen to different types of music and created a list of how each person’s personality had some connection to the type of music they prefer. 

Pop music – Extroverted, honest, and conventional. Pop lovers tend to be hardworking and have a high self esteem, however, they tend to be less creative and more anxious. 

Rap and R&B – Stereotypically people tend to think of rap listeners as abrasive and aggressive but research suggests they have a high self-esteem and are very easy going and outgoing.

Country music – Hardworking, conventional, and outgoing. Despite the fact that most country songs are about loss and heartbreak, most country lovers tend to be very emotionally stable. They also tend to be more conservative and are not very open.

Rock and Heavy Metal music – Like rap, rock and heavy metal listeners often come off as an angry, aggressive person but in reality they are rather gentle, creative, but they also tend to be more introverted and have low self-esteem. 

Indie music – Tend to be more introverted, intellectual, and creative. However, research shows they tend to be less hardworking and more abrasive. They tend to be more anxious, passive, and have a lower self esteem.

Dance music – Tend to be more outgoing and assertive. They also tend to be more open but are not known to be gentle.

Classical music – More introverted but at peace with the world around them. Tend to be creative and have a high self-esteem.

Jazz, Soul, and Blues music – Extroverted with a high self esteem, very creative, intelligent, and at ease.

I wanted to see if the data collected by researcher, Adrian North, would align with students at our school.  

Emma Hamilton, a senior, describes herself as extroverted with a highly social side. “I have both high and low self esteem. Honestly it depends on my mood. If I were to describe myself in five words, I would choose outgoing, athletic, talkative, friendly, and determined. I love country music, but I never turn down a good rap song.” 

Freshman Moe Davis, a freshman, describes himself as extroverted.“I’d say for myself I am very active and social towards everything I do. I’d say I have a high self esteem most of the time and only a low self esteem if I’m not feeling myself. Describing myself I would go as athletic, outgoing, passionate, caring, and committed. My favorite type of music would have to be rap.”

Bayli Soles, a junior, shares, “Most of the time I have a high self-esteem. Five words I would describe myself as are passionate, caring, kind, active, and dependable. Nine out of ten times, I will be listening to country music.” 

Reviewing the data, my research shows two out of the three students listen to country music and share positive attributes that can be linked to country music like being outgoing. In addition, two out of the three students also said they enjoy listening to rap music. I feel there is also a correlation here with rap music and their high self-esteem and ability to be outgoing.

So next time you meet someone and you bond over music, just know you probably have a lot more in common than you might think!