Numbers Don't Lie

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Does music forms part of a your identity ?

You probably know why blogger's user profile , or most dating web sites, list participants favorite music. We all guess that music tastes may help people get to know someone. Here is a latest quantitative study on this subject:
A group of 74 students was asked to fill out a personality questionnaire, and also to make a list of their ten favorite songs. For each participant, the researchers created a CD of their top ten songs. Now a new set of eight observers was recruited to listen to each of the 74 CDs. After listening to a CD, the observers then tried to predict the personality traits of the person who had picked the songs on that CD. Observers rated participants on the same scale which participants had used to rate themselves previously. How did the observers do? In all, observers' ratings of participants were positively correlated with 14 different personality traits, such as conscientiousness, extraversion, forgiveness, imagination. The correlation numbers, for many of personality traits, range from 0.2 to 0.6. (correlations number scale from +1 to -1, with +1 being a perfect correlation and -1 being a perfect inverse correlation [opposite]). Researcher found that music preferences even beat videos and photos in allowing observers to predict the participants' own ratings of their agreeableness, emotional stability, and openness to experience.
Source: Rentfrow, P.J., & Gosling, S.D. (2006). Message in a ballad: The role of music preferences in interpersonal perception. Psychological Science, 17(3), 236-242.



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