What you think can reveal your musical tastes

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London, July 23 (IANS) Your thinking style can provide an insight into what kind of music you like to hear. This finding can help the music industry fine tune its recommendations to individuals, new research shows.

According to psychologists from University of Cambridge, your thinking style – whether you are an “empathiser” who responds to the emotions of others or a “systemiser” who likes to analyse rules and patterns in the world – is a predictor of the type of music you like.

So if you are high on empathy, you will listen to mellow music like “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley and “Come away with me” by Norah Jones but if you are a “systemiser,” you will listen to punk and heavy metal like “Concerto in C” by Antonio Vivaldi or “Enter the Sandman” by Metallica.

“Although people’s music choices fluctuates 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.

To reach this conclusion, scientists looked at how our “thinking style” influences our musical choices. They conducted multiple studies with over 4,000 participants who were recruited mainly through the myPersonality Facebook app.

The researchers used library examples of musical stimuli from 26 genres and subgenres.

People who scored high on empathy tended to prefer mellow music (from R&B, soft rock and adult contemporary genres), unpretentious music (from country, folk, and singer/songwriter genres) 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 but 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.

“By knowing an individual’s thinking style, such services might in future be able to fine tune their music recommendations to an individual,” Greenberg said.

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