How many people love music

Personality congruence: This is why people love certain music

Some like Beyoncé, others Taylor Swift, the next Ozzy Osbourne or Elton John. Because the fans love their music? Not only. Because the taste for a certain interpreter is not only based on the music style, but also on the publicly perceived personality of the musician, report social psychologists around David Greenberg from the Israeli Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan in the journal »Journal of Personality and Social Psychology «. If your own personality traits are similar to those of a musician, this probably contributes to a preference for his pieces.

The researchers carried out a total of three studies and questioned more than 80,000 test subjects. To do this, they made a list of over 50 singers and bands from various Western musical styles. However, the scientists did not create a psychological profile of the celebrities themselves based on their personality traits. Such remote diagnosis would also be frowned upon among experts. Rather, Greenberg and his colleagues have documented the publicly perceptible personality of the stars. On the other hand, the psychologists not only asked the test participants about their preferred musical taste, including favorite singers, but also determined their personality traits. They also checked their reactions to the music and the lyrics themselves. Conclusion of the three studies: People love musicians who have a personality profile similar to that of themselves.

This article is contained in Spectrum Psychology, 6/2020 (November / December)

Greenberg's researchers describe the phenomenon as the “self-congruity effect of music”. In this case, self-congruence means that one's own personality traits coincide with those of an interpreter. Therefore, musical preferences are also dependent on psychological and social factors, as the researchers emphasize. "The results can pave the way for new approaches by music companies or music management in order to reach and develop new audiences," says co-author Sandra Matz from Columbia Business School, according to a press release. For the music industry, however, this finding is unlikely to be a freshly revealed secret. For several decades, artists have been cast - keyword boygroup - and thus the image and appearance of singers are tailored to a special target group.