Find yourself drawn to Metallica? If you tend to prefer punk and heavy metal over mellow music, chances are, you’re someone who is analytical and detail oriented. According to a new study, a person’s thinking style can provide an insight into what kind of music they like to hear. This research might be able to provide helpful clues to the music industry in order to target the right customers.
Scientists conducted multiple studies with more than 4,000 participants, who were made to listen to library examples of musical stimuli from 26 genres and sub-genres. Lead researcher David Greenberg stated, “Although people’s music choices fluctuate over time, we have discovered a person’s empathy levels and thinking style predicts what kind of music they like.”
Psychologists from University of Cambridge divided music listeners into two groups; empathizers tend to respond to the emotions of others while systemizers like to analyze rules and patterns in the world. They saw that empathizers preferred genres such as R&B, soft rock and adult contemporary genres, as well as country, folk, and singer-songwriter genres, and even contemporary music ranging from electronica, Latin, acid jazz, and Euro pop. These listeners displayed a strong dislike for intense music, such as punk and heavy metal, which is what the systemizers favored.
Other factors differentiating the empathizers from the systemizers, was that the former were more often than not female, intuitive, sensitive, adept at communication and also picked up languages more easily. The latter group tended to be male, driven to explore and analyze, and were less sociable in comparison.
The results, published in the journal PLOS ONE, proved consistent even within specified genres where empathisers preferred mellow, unpretentious jazz, while systemisers preferred intense, sophisticated jazz.
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