Skip to content

A New Study Reveals That Musical Preferences Are Linked To Cognitive Styles

buckley-jeff-4fe185b890a5c

Buckley for empathizers

 

A team of Cambridge University psychologists led by PhD student David Greenberg have analyzed music preferences of 4,000 volunteers and tried to divide them into 2 categories the empathizers and the systemizers… It may sound a bit simplistic, there’s gonna be more than 2 groups among human beings, but when you think about it this notion of empathy is really essential to human personality.

Their results, published  in Plos One, are pretty straightforward: empathizers, who of course respond to others’ emotions, prefer mellow, low energy music such as R&B, soft rock and folk, with negative emotions or emotional depth and dislike intense music… their favorite songwriters? Jeff Buckley or Norah Jones…. Which I would not exactly put in the same category, but that’s another story!

Systemizers on the other hand, analyze everything and like to find rules and patterns in the world around them, and they prefer high-energy music such as punk and metal or even sophisticated jazz with positive emotions and a high degree of cerebral depth and complexity, and like bands such as the Sex Pistols and Metallica.

Greenberg explained: ‘Although people’s music choices fluctuates over time, we’ve discovered a person’s empathy levels and thinking style predicts what kind of music they like…. In fact, their cognitive style – whether they’re strong on empathy or strong on systems – can be a better predictor of what music they like than their personality.’

It has to be noticed that the study recruited its participant through a Facebook questionnaire, and each participant was asked to listen to 50 musical pieces. Greenberg said the research could have implications for the music industry as for example Spotify already tries to determine what music you would listen to, based on your previous listening experience.

‘By knowing an individual’s thinking style, such services might in future be able to fine tune their music recommendations to an individual,’ he added.

Okay, I am not too surprised by the results, and I guess you aren’t either, it sounds a bit obvious at first, but as human beings we are very complex, and although it is probably possible to find a complete systemizer or empathizer, a lot of people fit right in the middle, I like Jeff Buckley and the Sex Pistols, I like some intense music and some mellow one, so who am I? To be fair, Greenberg recognized a third type in his study, the balanced type for individuals with relatively equal scores on both types, and it would be interesting to find out how many people fall into this category, may be the majority of people? I definitively do, and Spotify will never figure out my music preferences.

Leave a Comment





Amazon_Smile_logo
LET-ME-HELP-LOGO

Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at smile.amazon.com

Press Releases For September: Here Are The Artists

By Alyson Camus | September 16, 2021 |

something he learned from his legendary uncle

Rolling Stone’s Latest Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time List – Bye Bye, Boomer, Bye Bye

By Steve Crawford | September 16, 2021 |

how little this list has in common with the prior ones

Frank Sinatra’s “A Man Alone: The Words And Music Of McKuen” Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | September 16, 2021 |

a disquieted sadness permeates

Biding My Time: Thursday, September 16th, 2021

By Iman Lababedi | September 16, 2021 |

Someday they will match TM and AEG as one of the big three

The 2021 “Legends Of Vinyl’s “Gala Awards Night” New York DJs and Artists Hall Of Fame, Tuesday, September 14th, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | September 15, 2021 |

we will pass, disco will live on with lov

Brief Encounters: New Album Releases 9-10-21 – 9-16-21 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | September 15, 2021 |

¿No preferirías tener el modelo de este año?

Courtney Barnett Wants You To Remix Her New Songs

By Alyson Camus | September 15, 2021 |

play around with the different stems

Live Review: SohoJohnny Presents The Let Me Help, Inc 9/11 Fashion and Music Celebrity Benefit Gala Concert @Rumi Event Space 9/11/21

By Eileen Shapiro | September 14, 2021 |

The star studded, Red Carpet Let Me Help, Inc benefit was a celebration of New York City fashion week, as well as a tribute to the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

US Top 10 Singles Dated September 18th, 2021

By Iman Lababedi | September 14, 2021 |

it isn’t in the same league as The Beatles Top Five in 1964

Nicki Minaj, Met Gala, COVID-Vaccine Doubt And STDs

By Alyson Camus | September 14, 2021 |

‘his friend got it & became impotent’

Scroll To Top