Movies & Moods
By sai Hardiker
An investigation of the correlation between personality types and movie preferences
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.
- 50 people
- movie preference survey
- Myers-Briggs personality test on a computer
- notebook to record data
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
sources of error
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.