Conscientious People Unlikely to Enjoy RATM, Study Finds

Rage Against the Machine are unlikely to appeal to conscientious people, a University of Cambridge study about musical tastes and personality types has found. It also surmised that neurotic listeners are more likely to enjoy Nirvana‘s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

The study, published earlier this year in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, used data from 350,000 participants in over 50 countries to suggest that links between music preference and personality are universal across the globe, as Study Finds reported. Essentially, the study is claiming that someone in another part of the world, and who listens to the same exact music as you, probably has a similar personality to you as well.

Watch a video down toward the bottom of this post.

The findings imply that music could play a more substantial role in addressing social division. But the notion that Rage Against the Machine are unlikely to appeal to the conscientious seems to betray the band’s vision. One might assume the opposite — that the rap-rockers’ songs, rooted in social justice and activism, appeal to those who wish to do what is right.

It does not matter where a conscientious person lives, they are unlikely to enjoy Rage Against the Machine… –University of Cambridge

“A team from the University of Cambridge shows how different singers and songs appeal to similar personality types around the globe,” The Study Finds Guy summarizes on YouTube. “For example, Ed Sheeran‘s song ‘Shivers’ appeals to extroverts, while neurotic types are likely to be into Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.'”

He continues, “Agreeable people tend to have Marvin Gaye‘s ‘What’s Going On’ or Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper‘s ‘Shallow’ on their playlist. … And it doesn’t matter where a conscientious person lives — they aren’t likely to enjoy Rage Against the Machine.”

Those with neurotic traits in the U.S. are as likely to be into Nirvana’s ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’ as people with a similar personality living in Denmark or South Africa.

Lead researcher Dr. David M. Greenburg said he was “surprised at just how much these patterns between music and personality replicated across the globe.”

“People may be divided by geography, language and culture,” he added, “but if an introvert in one part of the world likes the same music as introverts elsewhere, that suggests music could be a very powerful bridge.”

On top of using self-reported info from listeners of different genres, Greenburg asked others to listen to short clips from 16 genres and give their reactions.

The full study, Universals and Variations in Musical Preferences: A Study of Preferential Reactions to Western Music in 53 Countries, is available here.

The Study Finds Guy, “Musical Preferences Unite Personalities Worldwide”

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Philip Trapp

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