You Are What You Listen To

1539 words - 7 pages

Music is continually around us. It is what we wake up to in the mornings, what we listen to as we drive, and what we begrudgingly tap our feet to as we wait for the elevator doors to open. Even when we were young, our mothers sang lullabies, proving that music has always been a piece of our lives. We have unknowingly allowed music to become part of who we are. It has influenced our emotions, choices, and our ability to learn and heal. In fact, it effects how we handle the different situations that we come to face. Music has woven itself into everything we are.
An individual’s choice in music can be a predictor of their personality characteristics. One study involved pairs of young adults. The subject’s goal was to get to know their partner through their top 10 favorite songs. The study focused on five specific personality traits: openness to experience, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability. The results of the test showed that the top 10 favorite songs actually provided fairly reliable predictions as to the subject’s personality traits. Some traits were easier to predict. For example, openness to experience was easier to discern, while conscientiousness, was more difficult to pin point (Cooper).
The exciting thrill of upbeat tunes is drastically contrasted by slow, mellower vibes. The tremendous rivalry in tempo also contributes to determining music based characteristics. It is a tested and proven fact that music tempo affects our feelings and energy levels. Without even thinking about it, music is used to create desired moods. It can provide an increase in happiness, encourage energizing movement/dance, as well as bring back powerful memories, and help promote relaxation and focus (Brewer).
People who are frequently pegged with labels like “lazy”, “tired”, and “negative” may have their music partially to blame for it.
“Scientists at the University of Missouri found that people can boost their mood simply by listening to more upbeat music. In the study, participants improved their mood after being told to try to do so, but they only succeeded when they listened to the upbeat music of Copland, as opposed to the sadder tunes of Stravinsky. Other participants, who simply listened to the music without attempting to change their mood, didn't report an increase in happiness” (Boothby).
Music is a powerful tool for personal expression. By simple observation of a person’s actions and dress code, one can quickly asses the individuals music preference. Musical genres also tend to change depending on cliques. If the study involving the correlation between a person’s top 10 favorite songs and their personality traits is true, then it can be assumed that genres help people connect and form tight relationships, resulting in groups or cliques. Cliques in general also tend to have music genres stereotypically attached to them, like cowboys and country, skaters and hip-hop, or gangsters and rap. Time periods are similarly...

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