Playlist Personalities


Metallica or Mozart, Beyoncé or Bon Jovi, music is the leading conversational topic among first-meeting millenials according to a University of Texas study. But is it with good reason? Is it possible to foresee someone’s personality based on playlists? Psychological studies have shown musical consumption does shapes personalities, and the results may seem surprising.


            Musical connoisseurs who seek out indie and alternative bands are often introverted but tend to be smarter and more creative.  Despite this, they typically have a lower self-esteem and aren’t typically hard working (probably because they’re using all that motivation to find the next big band).


            Mom was right about playing Mozart for babies. Studies show people who listen to more “complex” music on average have higher IQs. In addition, classical music lovers often have higher self-esteems. Despite being introverts, they are described as feeling more at ease with their surroundings. No wonder they recommend Handel for homework time.


            Folk fans tend to be more honest and conventional than those who prefer other genres. They’re seen as hardworking, outgoing and always ready for a hoedown. There must be something about driving through the countryside in a pickup truck with some good old Kenny Chesney…


            Club and EDM fans are more likely to act impulsively. They’re outgoing and assertive with their opinions. They like to express themselves creatively and are always up for a good time – sometimes to the point of recklessness. But hey, whatever floats your boat. Even if your boat is at a rave in a kiddie pool filled with glow sticks.


            Top 40 lovers are more extraverted. On average they have higher self-esteem, but tend to be less creative than other music genre fans. They habitually get the worst rep and are criticized with being judgmental and having an immense desire to be accepted. That doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t have a little guilty pleasure, though. “Call Me Maybe,” anybody?


            Contrary to popular belief, hip-hop music provides no direct cause to overtly sexual or aggressive behavior. However, it has been proven to encourage teens to rebel against modern conformities, giving them a stronger sense of confidence and more energy. This is understandable; it probably takes a deal of energy just to understand the words.


            Despite the shredding riffs and big hair, heavy metal lovers are often quite gentle. They’re seen more as introverts and tend to have a lower self-esteem than their pop promoting counterparts. They have a tendency to lack the drive of the country folks, but they are comfortable with their given surroundings – preferably a head banging festival.

            Whether upbeat or conventional, energetic or rhythmic, everyone has a connection to music. Those connections are related more than you would’ve thought. Who would’ve thought classical fans and metal heads would’ve had similar personalities? So next time you truly want to get to know somebody, the age-old question might not be so cliché. What kind of music do you listen to?


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