Have you ever been asked the question, “Why are you listening to that?” At that moment, you sit there and try to come up with a reason to explain your answer. However, the answer always seems to be, “Because I like it.” There’s no particular reason, maybe it’s the artist or maybe it is because you just like the beat. Perhaps it could be the way you are feeling at that particular moment.
Every day people are exposed to music in one form or another, whether they wish to hear it or not. For example, every time someone walks into a store, goes to eat dinner or something as simple as walking into an elevator. Music is always playing in the background. It can actually be somewhat hard to get away from it. Yet the music does not seem to irritate people, if anything we can use the subject of music to learn about someone’s personality. The question, “What kinds of music do you like?” is a universal question. It allows us to explore another person’s musical interest, which would then lead to the basis of a friendship.
Not every person is going to have the same taste in music, but why is it that people find a certain genre more appealing than others? A person’s personality and individuality clearly has a large role Research indicates that there is a definite correlation between personality and music preferences (Rentfrow & Gosling p. 1236-1237, Chamorro-Premuzic & Furnham p. 180-183). Those that enthusiastically chose to involve music in their lives will be more open to whatever music findings they come across in their everyday lives. There are also individuals who can play one or more musical instrument(s) and would be considered music lovers. Most of them have started from a young age and as they grew older would spend huge amounts of time learning more about music in depth. In the end, they would be more informed about music as opposed to their peers who have not been exposed to the core concepts of music. Their peers only know how to enjoy music purely for the sound, rhythm and melodies that it produces. That brings up the question of, “Do people with knowledge and deeper understanding of the rules and methods of music lead to them liking a broader type of music?” Research indicates that people with higher IQs tend to have a greater preference for the more complex musical genres (Rentfrow & Gosling p. 1236). Throughout this research all the questions that have been asked will be addressed in one way or another, and will be further elaborated.
It is surprising to see how music has not received much attention from psychological research, considering how people are exposed to music every day. Until rather recently as Chamorro-Premuzic & Furnham explained, “Recent research has revealed important information about the relationship between individual differences and musical preferences (176).” In the 1950s Raymond Cattell was one of the first researchers to examine how music could contribute to our understanding of personality. Cattell believed music...