Posted On March 3, 2014 By In Music, Music Musings

You Like Everything Except Country Music? Bull$hit!


“So…what kind of music are you into?”

It’s a stock question everyone uses to pry open that door of awkwardness in class or at a party. It could mean anything from “I’m bored and this silence makes me uncomfortable,” to “let’s bang in the bathroom between stats and psych.” It’s a safe conversation starter and it has the potential to make you feel instantly connected to someone if your playlists are divinely synced up (oh my gosh, you’ve heard of the Front Bottoms, too?) It also let’s you find out in about three seconds just how full of shit some people are (“I like all music except rap.” …Really? So you’re into tones played on crystal bowls that correspond with each of the seven chakras?) and whether they’re worth your time at all (“I’m not really a music person.” …NEXT).

You're "not a music person?!"

You’re “not a music person?!”


But research shows that this question is actually a pretty legit way to get to know that hottie next to you in statistics. Our tunage preferences really do say something about our character. Certain personality traits can actually be predicted based on which genres someone likes and what qualities in the music get them amped.

Professionals tell us so. Exhibit A

Professionals tell us so. Exhibit A

Here’s the breakdown:

Country, Pop, Religious:

I’m sorry, does anyone care about people who like country, pop, and religious music? Apparently, really positive, athletic, well-off conservatives do. If, like me, you detest the shit, you’re likely into things like artsy thinking, inner harmony, cult classics and documentaries.


Rock, Punk, The Gnar Rad Shit, Bro:

Sorry, bro, you’re probably from the middle to lower classes. Prob’ly energetic and independent, generally pissed off, and you have a desire to be cool, bro. Freedom, danger, and weirdness are your bag. Great lovers though. Just sayin’…bro.


Folk, Classical, Jazz, High-Brow Shit:

No surprises here. Creativity and intellectual prowess abound. Folks who dig folk are pretty open to new experiences, usually artsy and shit, left-leaning at the polls, well off and—just my own guess—white.


Hippity-Hop, Rap, Funk:

These peeps tend to be concerned with social recognition. They want to be loud and proud. Be a part of a whole, man. They like to party and are relaxed, outgoing, and—again this is me jumping in—tend to own cars with sub-woofers the size of Atlanta.


All this jazz is coming from the experts, people. Rentfrow and Gosling are some of the lucky ducks (or docs, to be more precise) that have made academic careers out of playing music for people and then judging their personalities. They have published a lot of high-brow psychobabble journal articles complete with ridiculous acronyms and word-grafted vocabulary (transliminality, anyone?) that can totally help you impress the next hot stranger you find. For those of us who don’t give a shit about intellectualizing our way into each-others’ pants, you can find a dumbed down explanation, as well as a groovy self-quiz, on these sites (below) set up by the researchers.
Maybe all this can help you land a one night stand with a dreamy Divine Fits fan, or just wasteless time chasing that LMFAO ass-hole. He was a sk8er boi, I said seeya later, boy.

The Sites:


Up next week: “Hey, so…what’s your major?”

P.S. if you want to gank this idea for a school paper, please don’t copy and paste. Start here:
Rentfrow, P. J., & Gosling, S. D. (2006). Message in a Ballad. Psychological Science (Wiley-Blackwell), 17(3), 236-242. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01691
And yeah, I put it in APA format for you, you lazy little shit (don’t forget the hanging indent).

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