Personality Traits and Musical Elements Preferences

Subject: Psychology
Pages: 4
Words: 947
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College


The participants for this study involved one hundred and forty-five university students, aged between nineteen and twenty-six. The students were randomly selected to listen to music as hypothesized and all the participants agreed to take part in listening to music without any knowledge on the relevance of their participation. One hundred and eighty-two students out of the students involved were the students taking music courses and two hundred and twenty-six did not take music as a course. Thirty-two students who were not music students were involved in measuring the level of arousal brought about by four musical elements that include rhythm tapping, playing keyboard, singing, and listening.

Three hundred and fifty-eight community people were participants. These participants were selected from an anonymous community. They were given survey questions to justify their genre out of 30 genres in music in a different case study.

Two hundred and sixty-three participants were involved in a different case study. The data was gathered in a lab study, and the participants were anonymous. The case study involved the participants listening to six different types of music. The participants involved in the case studies had a chance to find out their preferences for music and the type of personality traits they portrayed according to the experiment.


The materials involved in this research included keyboards, different voices, tapping instruments, and sound recorders that were listened to by students to forecast demographic details.

The Choice of the Elements of Music

The choice of the element of music describes the liveliness, open-mindedness, and ease of social integration of an individual. People are likely to depict a lot of enthusiasm and energy that allows them to prefer music with various melodic elements, unlike their less lively counterparts. Fewer lively individuals portray traits of calmness, seriousness, and reflectiveness (Kopacz, 2005).

The sample items include the choice of tempo or pitch, the purpose of music, age, educational level, personality, and several melodic themes. The response from the students showed that music substantially influenced psycho-psychological traits. Two hundred and sixty-three participants were told to listen to six different songs, and they responded they liked the music as well as the extent that they found the music matching their parameters.


Arousal is an impetus and the basic response to various interpretations of the sensory stimuli influencing psychological traits. Arousal is a reaction depicted by the body because of the activity of the brain. The sample items were 32 non-students exposed to 4 music experiences; these were listening, singing, rhythm tapping, and playing the keyboard. All four elements had recorded elevated energy arousal and reduced fatigue. The sample items included the patterns of heartbeat, muscle relaxation, and the rate of physical reaction that occurred because of the influence of the music a person heard.


Students had to listen to recordings and rate them based on their personality measures and forecast their traits and feelings.


The design used for this research was experimental since it involved investigating a person’s character about its music preferences. The independent variable used included tempo, number of melodic themes, sound intensity rhythm, frequency, and sound alterations. These were measured using four elements of music that included listening, rhythm tapping, singing, and playing the keyboard. Independent variables include enthusiasm and energy, liveliness, social boldness, and self-reliance. Social boldness is measured by using musical instruments such as tempo and melodic themes. Liveliness is measured by traits of a person such as seriousness, calmness, and reflectiveness. The traits of liveliness are measured by the amount of enthusiasm involved in the music. Self-reliance was not measured by anything since there was no appropriate music element to support it.

Two hundred and thirty-six candidates were told to listen to six different types of music. They indicated how much they liked music as well as the extent the music matched their character according to the study. Another study enlisted three hundred and fifty-eight participants in a community to fill survey questions that assessed their choices for thirty distinct choices of music.


In the first case study, forty-five participants aged between nineteen and twenty-six were chosen randomly from a university; the university students were exposed to particular music. The participants had no informed concept of the purpose of the case study. In the second case study, thirty-two students who did not take a music course at university were involved in the case study and they were exposed to four musical elements to measure their level of arousal. The third case study was represented by 182 listeners of the music course and 206 people who had nothing to do with music. They were exposed to a recording prompting. In the fourth case study, two hundred and sixty-three participants were told to listen to six different types of music. These were random participants.

The findings established that individuals who subscribe to rebellious music encounter increased hostility, undesired stereotyping, and regressive behavior. On the other hand, adults who preferred classical and jazz types of music were less likely to exhibit cases of depression. Young students who subscribe to rebellious music are highly exposed to considerable levels of depression. Playing piano was identified as necessary for raising self-esteem. There was no significant relationship between self-esteem and music. Following these reliable facts, all variables demonstrated consistent results with the existing literature. These findings imply that the types of music are correlated with cognitive and personality traits and the choice of music that an individual listens to can be attributed to behavioral traits that they possess. This study offers a broad scope of coverage that provides readers with comprehensive insights that may be the primary determinants when choosing the kind of music to listen to.


Kopacz, M. (2005). Personality and Music Preferences: The Influence of Personality Traits on Preferences Regarding Musical Elements. Journal of Music Therapy, 42, 216-39