Music preferences may be linked to our way of thinking, says study
Have you ever wondered why we have specific musical tastes or why you like one genre of music and another not? Little is known about the factors that can influence our tastes, but the fact is that it only takes a few seconds to know when we want to listen to a song or when we prefer to skip to the next track. Scholars at the University of Cambridge, England, decided to investigate this issue further and made a rather unusual discovery about the songs we heard.
According to the study, published on the scientific magazine site PLOS One in July, our musical preferences are directly related to our personality and our way of thinking. To reach this conclusion, the researchers gathered data from approximately 4,000 people, who were recruited through social networks. In the first phase, they answered a questionnaire designed for the scientists to understand how each participant thought and reacted. In the second phase, they listened to 50 songs from 26 different musical genres and subgenres, and in the third they evaluated each one. The researchers then analyzed the information collected and found that there is a strong relationship between the psychological profile mapped through the questionnaire and the individual ratings given to the songs.
If a person has the so-called "empathic brain" the ability to recognize and react to the thoughts and feelings of others, she will tend to prefer genres such as R & B, soul and country. Already if she has the one that we call "systematic brain", linked to the ability to understand rules and systems, she will prefer heavy metal, punk, among other similar styles.
Researchers also found that more empathic people tend to prefer more songs calm, with sad and melancholic lyrics or even more poetic. Those who are more systematic tend to prefer more animated and intense genres, with strong and more entertaining lyrics.
Scholars still believe that this research may have repercussions even in the music industry. According to David Greenberg, the lead author of the study, large music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music invest a lot of money to discover new and different ways of knowing what music their users would like to hear. "With studies like this in hand, by which it is possible to trace people's thinking, identifying possible musical tastes will be much easier and more practical," he told a news conference.
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