We all have our favorite songs, depending on our own personal music preferences. But it turns out that whether you jam to country or rock isn't just about your taste in genre — it may also be connected to the way you think. A new study published in PLOS One online journal suggests that your temperamental disposition and personality may determine your taste in music. Researchers at the University of Cambridge had more than 4,000 individuals fill out personality surveys, and then listen to 50 different songs from all kinds of genres. Participants then rated the songs based on their own preferences.
Interestingly enough, the scientists found that there was a clear pattern. The "emphathizers" were inclined toward mellow, emotionally deep music, like R&B, soul, soft rock, and adult contemporary. Meanwhile, the systemizers (aka people who were more analytical) gravitated towards more intense and high-energy music, like hard rock, heavy metal, and punk. If you think about it, doesn't that make perfect sense? After all, people listen to music they can identify with.
But want to hear something that is even more interesting? Researchers believe they can use this information to help increase empathy through music therapy. For example, people with autism, who tend to have low empathy, may learn to be more understanding by listening to emotionally focused music.
Of course, there are more than just two kinds of personalities out there, so this science isn't exactly perfect yet. Still, it's interesting to think of the implications of our music taste. It turns out our favorite summer playlist has a lot more meaning behind it than we ever thought.