Personality Types and Music

Does our personality type influence our preference in music?


Due to the association of certain personality types with music preferences, the music industry strategically presents a particular genre of music in order to appeal to a specific personality type.


New research from around the world suggests that an individual’s favorite music genre is closely linked to his or her personality. According to the Journal of Youth and Adolescence (2003), personality directly contributes to a person's musical preference.


Classical music fans have high self-esteem, are creative, introverted, and at ease

Rap fans have high self-esteem and are outgoing

Opera fans have high self-esteem, are creative and gentle

Country and western fans are hardworking and outgoing

Dance fans are creative and outgoing but not gentle

Rock/heavy metal fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, and at ease

Chart pop fans have high self-esteem, are hardworking, outgoing and gentle, but are not creative and not at ease

This pattern has been established through many credible surveys from the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK. Therefore, an individual's personality can be reflected in they types of music they listen to. Due to these studies, the music industry (specifically radio stations) have taken advantage of this association in order to increase their revenue.



Why do radio stations try to appeal to a certain personality?

According to the Journal of Youth and Adolescence (2003), those who listen to pop and dance music tend to be outgoing and overall very social people. This implies that radio stations use the extroversion of pop and dance music fans to increase the possibility that they will share the music heard on the radio. In doing this, the amount of people buying these songs would increase as well as the revenue.

Counter Claim

Many people argue that due to the existence of apps and other streaming services that play many different genres of music such as blues, jazz, classical, etc., there is no need for popular radio stations to diversify their music; however, the inclusion of all types of music in popular radio stations would have a large amount of benefits. An article from the Wall Street Journal titled, "Radio's Answer to Spotify? Less Variety", claims that many radio stations have received complaints regarding the lack of diversity in terms of music genres. Many fans "would like to listen to their music with the ease of a radio station, rather than apps such as Spotify which require data usage and payment" (Karp, 2014). Therefore, radio stations should diversify the types of music they play.


Popular radio stations should diversify their music in order to include all personality types and make it easy for everyone to listen to music. In doing this, these stations will receive a decent amount of revenue from increasing the number of musical acts that they play, as well as appealing to all audiences and drawing a larger crowd of people to listen to the station. Thus, by playing all types of music, popular radio stations will be able to maintain their profits as well as pleasing more music fans.


Karp, H. (n.d.). Radio's Answer to Spotify? Less Variety. Retrieved May 30, 2016, from

This source is from the Wall Street Journal which publishes many articles by well-renowed journalists. In relation to my argument, this source provided evidence to refute my counterclaim as well as offering evidence to support my economic subclaims.

Maillet, F., Eck, D., Desjardins, G., & Lamere, P. (n.d.). Steerable Playlist Generation by Learning Song Similarity ... Retrieved May 30, 2016, from

This source offered research as to why radio stations might choose pop/dance music as the one genre they play; this became the basis of my social lens and supported my argument. This source also came from the University of Montreal which verifies its credibility.

Schwartz, K. D., & Fouts, G. T. (n.d.). Music Preferences, Personality Style, and Developmental Issues of Adol. Retrieved May 30, 2016, from

This source is very credible as it was published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence which is a compilation of research done by scientists at various universities. In my argument, this source verified the relationship between personality and music which was the basis for my argument; therefore, this source was very relevant as well.