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Individual Differences in Musical Taste

The American Journal of Psychology
Vol. 123, No. 2 (Summer 2010), pp. 199-208
DOI: 10.5406/amerjpsyc.123.2.0199
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Page Count: 10
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Individual Differences in Musical Taste
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Abstract Several studies have investigated the relationship between (usually a narrow set of) personality dimensions and liking for a small number of individual musical styles. To date there has been no attempt to investigate, within a single methodology, the extent to which personality factors correlate with liking for a very wide range of musical styles. To address this, 36,518 participants rated their liking for 104 musical styles, completed a short form of the Big 5 personality inventory, and provided other data about their favorite musical styles. Personality factors were related to both liking for the musical styles and participants’ reasons for listening to this music. However, on the whole these latter variables were related more closely to participants’ age, sex, and income than to Big 5 scores. Thus, personality is related to musical taste, but other individual differences are arguably related more closely.

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