Movies & Moods

By sai Hardiker

An investigation of the correlation between personality types and movie preferences


is there any correlation between a persons personality type and movie preferance?


Background Information and Research:

Many people have hinted that someone's personality type can be correlated with what type of movies they prefer. Movie preferences a lot of times have more to do with our personality than age, culture, ethnicity, or education.

This has been shown by a new research led by Jason Rentfrow getting his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge. In this study, 3,000+ people were asked how much they liked or disliked specific genres of books, music, and movies. The researchers took three different samples of people university students, citizens of Springfield, and an Internet survey.

They found that most people prefer one of these five types of entertainment. Communal (people and relationships), Aesthetic (creative and abstract), Dark (intense and edgy), Thrilling (action, suspense and adventure), and Cerebral (factual and information). This research project could have an ongoing debate about whether or not the media has impacted people’s attitudes, behavior, and feelings.

People have said for a long time that being exposed to violent media such as action movies and violent video games raises aggression. Aggressive thoughts, feelings, and actions are sometimes caused by these types of media. This study may show that a someone personality has a bigger influence in media choices. Also that violent media appeals to people who are likely to show this type of behavior.

For the study, test subjects had to tell their age, gender, ethnicity, and level of education. The personality of each person was analyzed with a widely used system that categorizes personality through a set of characteristics. Extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability and intellect/imagination. Their gender and level of education had strong influences on the media preferences.

All in all the strongest correlation came from the personality test. For the creative and introspective, people was the “aesthetic” forms of entertainment. In contrast, straightforward, easy-going and relationship-orientated people got assigned with “communal” styles of entertainment instead.

“Even though people’s taste for a style of music, or a particular type of TV show, will differ depending on things like age or gender, we found that their choices often spring from a desire to experience the same kind of thing,” “When we clustered people’s entertainment preferences and compared their taste in music, literature, and film, we found that they are usually looking for a particular type of content, regardless of the genre through which it is conveyed. That would suggest that our entertainment preferences are more a function of substance, than style.” Said Rentfrow.

When you buy a dvd on Amazon you will receive their suggestion to buy another movie usually with the same actor or same director. But there is often very little in common between these. Also, classifying movie preferences based on genre seem incorrect because we like some comedies, some dramas, and some documentaries.

People use film preferences to show specific aspects of their personality. This happens with or without awareness and directly. Also, people may try to convey information about their personality or gain a certain impression by telling us that they like certain types of movies on purpose. If people tell you they like arty movies they are probably trying to show you they are creative and clever. There is of a problem with this while studying movie preferences. They would only show people how they want to be seen by others.

I was thinking that if your personality can affect something like movie choices, then can it affect other things like food choices? A study done tested more than 2,700 people matching their personality types with their sandwich choices. "It's like a Rorschach test," said Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, "You look at ink blots, and what you see gives you insight into personality. We basically did the same thing, only with sandwich preferences." The study subjects completed standardized psychiatric and personality tests, then, they were asked to choose from a list of eight sandwiches. Personality types were matched and showed things like tuna-salad likers are competitive, easily irritated and intolerant of failure. It may sounds strange but Hirsch says "Literally every little thing we do -- the way we walk, the way we talk, the color tie we pick -- reflects our personality; we leave behind 'personality fingerprints' in everything we do, The question is, are we smart enough to figure out what it means?" The study went a step further by determining which sandwich types were romantically compatible. Tuna-sandwich types are better with other tuna-sandwich types, seafood salads and BLTs go together well, egg-salad lovers get along with everybody, and ham-and-cheese types are the players. Missing from this list were the peanut butter and jelly types. "One of the challenges about peanut butter and jelly," Hirsch says, "is that too many people choose that. When everybody chooses one thing, you can't make a statistical statement about it; similarly, you can't use something that nobody chose."

The 16 personality types that the Myers- Briggs personality test can assign you are ESTJ, ISTJ, ENTJ, INTJ, ESTP, ISTP, ENTP, INTP, ESFJ, ISFJ, ENFJ, INFJ, ESFP, ISFP, ENFP, and INFP. For the first letter of the acronym, you can have either E or I. The E stands for extraverted and the I for introverted. The second letter is either S or N for sensing and intuition. The third letter can either be T or F which stand for thinking and feeling. Lastly, the fourth letter is going to be either J or P for judging or perceiving.


I chose this project because I want to see if there is any correlation between a persons personality type and what they like to see in movies. I want to test if people who have a specific type of personality will all have a preference for the same kinds of movies. his will also help people figure out what movies others will like or what kind of people they could be friends with seeing the personality types and preferences.


If I group people by personality types and movie preferences, then, the people with the same personality types will like the same movies, because there is some correlation.


  • 50 people
  • movie preference survey
  • Myers-Briggs personality test on a computer
  • notebook to record data


1. Gather all the materials
  • 2. Have one test subject take the movie survey
  • 3. Have the same test subject take the Myers-Briggs test
  • 4. Record the data
  • 5. Repeat steps 2-4 50 times with all the test subjects
  • 6. Create a scatter plot with all of the data
  • 7. Analyze the graph and form a conclusion
  • Variables

    Independent variable= person's personality

    Dependant variable= person's movie preference

    Control group= none

    Experimental group= humans (classmates/ peers)

    Constants= movie survey and personality test


    most people like to watch comedies but I am not really seeing a big pattern in correlation. I am seeing, however, that a lot of people with the personality types ESFP and ENFJ like comedy movies. Other than this, there is little to no correlation in anything else at all sadly.
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    Before starting this experiment, I claimed that if I grouped people by personality types and movie preferences, then, the people with the same personality types would like the same movies, because there would be some correlation. Sadly, I discovered that this is not the case. There is no correlation between peoples' personality types and their movie preferences. Some evidence that shows this is that in all genres of movies that people chose, four out of 6 had no personality types repeated. I think I got these results for some reason. The reasoning is that people do not always want to have what they're more accustomed to as entertainment. A lot of people like to watch something that wouldn't actually happen to them or they are used to. This is why theres no way of telling what movies a person likes to watch just based off of their personality.


    My hypothesis was not supported by this experiment because I claimed that if I grouped people by personality types and movie preferences, then, the people with the same personality types would like the same movies, because there would be some correlation. As it turns out, this is not true for a number of reasons that I learned about. However, my purpose was achieved because now people know not to assume what a person likes just based on a personality.

    sources of error

    There might have been some inaccurate or unreliable results in this experiment possibly. Maybe it was that I didn't use a wide enough range of people. Also possibly could've been that the Myer's Briggs test wasn't fit to test for something to be correlated with entertainment choices. If there had been a deeper movie preference inquiry I could maybe have gotten slightly different results but I doubt anything would have made such a huge difference that my hypothesis was true.


    I could improve my experimental design by making a longer more intensive movie preference survey and using a lot of test subjects to provide a bigger view. Also to get the bigger picture with all ages and maturity levels. A continuation experiment I could to test another variable is see if peoples personality types relate to their friend group's personality types to see if people like to be around people just like them or totally different.


    My project relates to real life because more often than not, people assume a lot that people like stuff that goes with their personality but in truth, a lot of people go out of their comfort zones and do, watch, and listen to very different things than other people with the same personality type as them. We can use my results to make sure we don't do this anymore and actually expect something totally different. It is important to know what I learned because we don't make false assumptions about people.


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