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Music Education

What Your Music Taste Says About You

For some of us (*cough* WKNC DJs), music is heavily intertwined with our identities. But how did we develop our taste in music? Where did it come from, and what does it mean? Of course, there’s no perfect way to measure personality, but we’ve come pretty close to pinning down what exactly our unique music tastes say about us as individuals.

In 2003, researchers Peter Rentfrow and Samuel Gosling were curious as to how our personalities correlate with our music taste. After conducting a test with over 3,500 people, they were able to identify four major personality categories based on music preferences: reflective and complex, intense and rebellious, upbeat and conventional, and energetic and rhythmic. Since this study, other researchers have refined these categories even further:

1. Refined Observer

Favorite Genres: jazz, blues, folk, classical

Personality Traits: Refined Observers are introspective, analytical and creative. They appreciate music for its complexity, structure and “genius factor.” They also prefer abstract, emotionally rich topics.

2. Heated Defiant

Favorite Genres: heavy rock, metal, grunge, punk

Personality Traits: As you could probably deduce from their title, Heated Defiants tend to be rebellious and explosive, though they may not show those traits outwardly. They also value the spontaneity of new experiences and unconventionality.

3. Easy-Going Conventional

Favorite Genres: pop, country, religious music

Personality Traits: This is for all those G105 listeners out there (no shade). Easy-Going Conventionals tend to be light, warm and optimistic. Rather than looking for the complexity in music, they prefer simplicity and catchy tunes.

4. Outgoing Mingler

Favorite Genres: hip-hop, rap, funk

Personality Traits: Energetic, sociable and friendly, Outgoing Minglers appreciate music with a strong rhythmic and lyrical feel. They’re natural extroverts, enjoying the company of others in all types of gatherings.

5. Serene Enjoyer

Favorite Genres: world music, electronica, soft indie

Personality Traits: Last but not least, the Serene Enjoyer loves music that is unconventional yet chill. They tend to be laid back and unafraid to venture into unknown musical territory. Though they’re very creative, they prefer music that airs on the lighter side of things.

Of course, this is not an extensive measure of personality by any means. Many of us like tons of different genres! Either way, it’s fun to see how your taste might correlate to certain personality traits. What’s your personality type? Do you have more than one? Let us know!

– DJ Butter

Source for the information in this blog.

By DJ Butter

A little Butter makes everything better. Part-time WKNC content manager and graphic designer, full-time sludgy surf rock funk master metalhead. Get in touch with ya suggestions n' such at content@wknc.org.