Guess what! Your thoughts can mirror your musical tastes

  • IANS
  • Updated: Jul 25, 2015 14:43 IST
A new study finds that if you are high on empathy, you will listen to mellow music but if you are a systemiser, you will prefer punk and heavy metal. (Thinkstock Photo)

Your thinking style can provide an insight into the kind of music you like, says a study.

According to psychologists from University of Cambridge, UK, your thinking style — whether you are an 'empathiser', who responds to others’ emotions or a 'systemiser', who likes to analyse rules and patterns in the world — can predict the type of music you like.

So if you are high on empathy, you will listen to mellow music such as Come Away With Me by Norah Jones, but if you are a systemiser, you will listen to punk and heavy metal such as Enter the Sandman by Metallica.

“Although people’s music choices fluctuate over time, we have discovered a person’s empathy levels and thinking style predicts what kind of music they like,” says lead researcher David Greenberg.

The finding is based on multiple studies with over 4,000 participants who are recruited mainly through the myPersonality Facebook app. They use library examples of musical stimuli from 26 genres and subgenres.

People who score high on empathy tend to prefer mellow music (from RnB, soft rock and adult contemporary genres), country, folk, and contemporary music (from electronica, Latin, acid jazz, and Euro pop).

They dislike intense music such as punk and heavy metal. In contrast, people who score high on systemising favour intense music and dislike mellow and unpretentious musical styles. The results, published in the journal PLOS ONE, prove consistent even within specified genres where empathisers prefer mellow, unpretentious jazz, while systemisers prefer intense, sophisticated jazz.

“Knowing a person’s thinking style, can help services fine tune music recommendations to an individual,” Greenberg says.

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