What Do Your Visual Preferences Say About You? Your Artistic Leanings Might Reveal Your Dominant Personality Traits

We all like different things. I like eating whole tomatoes like apples, while my brother finds tomatoes repulsive. I like sad '90s white girl music, while a lot of people can't stand Fiona Apple. But do what we we like and what we dislike have certain implications for the way people perceive us? Yes, it turns out — and our visual preferences are no different from our preferences for certain types of food or music: According to science, our visual preferences can actually say quite a bit about who are we are fundamentally.

I'll admit that, yes, my interest in this was all sparked by a Playbuzz quiz called "What Are Your 5 Dominant Personality Traits Based on Your Visual Preferences?" I thought it was an interesting premise: can this quiz, or any sort of research, tell me about my personality based on what I like to look at, what I find comforting, and what scares me?

As it turns out, it sort of can. For example, according to the American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Personality Disorders (great title), visual preference in children for gender-linked toys (that is, dolls for girls and trucks for boys — and yes, it physically pains me to write this) is associated with specific personality traits. Girls who prefer dolls also tend to be expressive (that is, emotional and compassionate), while boys who prefer trucks tend to be more instrumental (or, independent and assertive).

Another study found that "openness" (it's a vague term, but let's just go with it) was the most consistent indicator of artistic preference.

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When I took the Playbuzz quiz, my results said that I was "Loyal, Kind, Imaginative, Hard-working, and Diplomatic." I think some of those are true, and others I wish were true (I would love to be more diplomatic — it would make my life so much easier)... but they do all seem a little bit like that fortune cookie thing where anyone can find elements of those characteristics in themselves.

Maybe I'm just too cynical. though. I did a little digging, and according to research, here's what your visual preferences might say about you:

If you prefer dark and cool colors:


Research indicates a higher degree of neuroticism in those who stated preferences for dark, cool colors than in those who preferred brighter, warmer tones. Neuroticism, as it is explained on the Big Five Personality Inventory, is characterized by a predisposition to experience less pleasant emotions such as anger, anxiety or sadness.

If you like cubist art:


Research also indicates that if you've found yourself drawn to cubism, you might be an extravert. Extraversion is characterized by energy, assertiveness, and sociability. How about that Picasso, eh?

If you can't stand looking at replicas:


If you're an art purist, and can can easily spot a fraud from the real deal, you probably demonstrate high degrees of conscientiousness. People who score highly on conscientiousness tend to be organized, dependable, and prefer pre-made plans to spontaneous activities.

If you like the abstract:


Research has indicated that individuals who like abstract art and other non-traditional images have personalities that are likely characterized by openness. Open individuals reflect a preference for novelty, variety and adventure.

If you prefer no images at all:


According to one study, if you'd rather acquire information verbally than visually, you're a Thinker (as opposed to a Feeler). Thinkers put more weight on empirical facts than do Feelers. You might be a Thinker if you tend to approach decision making by assessing pros and cons or trying to logically work out a problem.

Images: Giphy (5)