Your thoughts can mirror your musical tastes
People who scored high on empathy tended to prefer mellow music from genres like RnB, soft rock and country
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,” said lead researcher David Greenberg.
Scientists conducted multiple studies with over 4,000 participants who were recruited mainly through the myPersonality Facebook app. They used library examples of musical stimuli from 26 genres and subgenres.
People who scored high on empathy tended 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 disliked intense music such as punk and heavy metal. In contrast, people who scored high on systemising favoured intense music and disliked mellow and unpretentious musical styles. The results, published in the journal PLOS ONE, proved consistent even within specified genres where empathisers preferred mellow, unpretentious jazz, while systemisers preferred intense, sophisticated jazz. “Knowing a person’s thinking style, can help services fine tune music recommendations to an individual,” Greenberg said.
People high on empathy are
drawn to mellow music such as Norah