Page last updated at 00:05 GMT, Friday, 5 September 2008 01:05 UK

Music tastes link to personality

Trombone
Jazz fans are "creative and have good self-esteem" according to the research

Musical tastes and personality type are closely related, according to a study of more than 36,000 people from around the world.

The research, which was carried out by Professor Adrian North of Heriot-Watt University, is said to be the largest such study ever undertaken.

It suggested classical music fans were shy, while heavy metal aficionados were gentle and at ease with themselves.

Professor North described the research as "significant" and "surprising".

He said: "We have always suspected a link between music taste and personality. This is the first time that we've been able to look at it in real detail. No-one has ever done this on this scale before."

Prof North said the research could have many uses in marketing, adding: "If you know a person's music preference you can tell what kind of person they are, who to sell to.

"There are obvious implications for the music industry who are are worried about declining CD sales.

"One of the most surprising things is the similarities between fans of classical music and heavy metal. They're both creative and at ease but not outgoing.

HAVE YOUR SAY
Don't worry about what people think of you because of the music you listen to. Music is the best thing in the world
Steve Harding, Wiltshire, UK
"The general public has held a stereotype of heavy metal fans being suicidally depressed and of being a danger to themselves and society in general. But they are quite delicate things."

More than 36,000 people from all over the world were asked to rate 104 musical styles and also questioned about aspects of their personality.

The study is continuing and Prof North, who is head of the university's department of applied psychology, is still looking for participants to take part in a short online questionnaire.

MUSICAL STYLES VERSUS PERSONALITY TRAITS

BB King
BLUES
High self-esteem, creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease

Thelonius Monk
JAZZ
High self-esteem, creative, outgoing and at ease

Nigel Kennedy
CLASSICAL MUSIC
High self-esteem, creative, introvert and at ease

Public Enemy
RAP
High self-esteem, outgoing

Aida
OPERA
High self-esteem, creative, gentle

Dolly Parton
COUNTRY AND WESTERN
Hardworking, outgoing

Linton Kwesi Johnson
REGGAE
High self-esteem, creative, not hardworking, outgoing, gentle and at ease

Rave
DANCE
Creative, outgoing, not gentle

Pete Doherty
INDIE
Low self-esteem, creative, not hard working, not gentle

Dancers
BOLLYWOOD
Creative, outgoing

Metallica
ROCK/HEAVY METAL
Low self-esteem, creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, at ease

Kylie Minogue
CHART POP
High self-esteem, not creative, hardworking, outgoing, gentle, not at ease

James Brown
SOUL
High self-esteem, creative, outgoing, gentle, at ease

Source: Heriot-Watt University


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