Findings of a study conducted by a group of psychologists from the University of Cambridge have revealed that a person’s empathy is associated with his or her taste in music.
The researchers, who published their study in the journal PLOS ONE, found that people who are better at understanding other people’s feelings tend to prefer romantic and relaxing music such as R&B and soft rock. Those who tend to focus on the minute details of things are more likely to listen to more technically complex music such as traditional jazz.
Music and the way people think is undoubtedly inextricably linked. In an earlier study, researchers found that music can boost the communication between the brain’s left and right hemispheres.
This recent study, which was led by David Greenberg, is part of ongoing efforts to better understand the psychology of music preference. The research investigated if being more focused on logic and reason, as well as being more empathetic, may influence a person’s musical taste.
Greenberg and colleagues involved more than 4,000 participants who were asked about their thinking styles. The researchers also used 50 musical excerpts from a wide range of genres to help determine the participants’ musical preferences.
Their findings revealed that the empathizers are more likely to prefer sensual, reflective and mellow music with emotional depth such as Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me”. Soft rock and singer-songwriters are interestingly more likely to produce this type of music.
Logic-oriented “systemizers”, on the other hand, were found to prefer quite intense, manic music that include the Sex Pistols’ “God Save The Queen”. These individuals were also found to have a taste for heavy rock and classical tracks.
Empathizers seem to prefer the rush of emotions that are linked to certain types of music while systemizers, who enjoy picking apart the complex instrumentation of music, appear to be putting together a musical puzzle.
Based on their findings, the researchers suggest that people who lack empathy, such as psychopaths, may improve their empathy quotient by listening to music with emotions.
Our musicians and performers here at Bialek Music can provide you with entertainment for your parties and events based on your musical preference, regardless if it is rock, Bach, strings, R&B or alternative music. Contact us today to learn more how we can make your next event extra special.