Why It’s Okay to Judge Someone Based on Their Music Taste

We’ve all (YES, ALL) caught ourselves guilty of judging a person based on their music taste. Even as a joke, there’s an underlying truth to how we as individuals are turned off by a person’s music taste. Call it judgmental if you will but you can’t argue with science!

Music is an Extension of Who You Are

A person’s taste in music exposes a great deal of information about who they are, for example their political affiliations. According to psychologist Sam Gosling, a conservative’s bedroom houses high conscientiousness and low openness trademarks such as sports paraphernalia, various flags (especially country flags), and alcohol bottles. A liberal’s bedroom, on the other hand, reveals their high openness with a variety of books on topics such as travel and ethnic issues, along with CDs of eclectic genres including world music, folk music, classic and modern rock, and “oldies.”

If someone says you have poor music taste, you can blame it on your parents. A 2011 study associated mothers and fathers’ taste for Pop music with their children’s preference for Pop and Dance. Their inclination for Rock seemed to indicate their daughter’s preference for the genre, but not their sons. Thanks, Pops!

Music preference changes over time, but a person’s long-term favorite is attached to an intense emotional experience. A small-scale study connected participants’ motivations and personal stories with their favorite music. Personally though, I believe that a person has more than one favorite song. If this study proves to be true in a larger scale, it can also show how emotional an individual can be.

Rob Brooks pointed out that the music you prefer from ages 16-21 is the music you’ll be fond of later on. The whole thing makes sense as a lot of first experiences happen during our late adolescence and early adulthood. He also mentioned a study made by Mark Bellis at Liverpool John Moores University regarding the lifespan of rockstars. Between three to 25 years after becoming famous, musicians included in the all-time Top 1000 albums in rock and pop music are more than 1.7 times as likely to die as North Americans or Europeans of the same age. The most common cause of death is drugs and alcohol, followed by cancer, cardiovascular disease, accidents, then violence and suicide.

Music Literally Improves Lives

Out of the nine ways music improves as our lives, we picked out three of our favored methods:

1.) Music Can Save A Life

Does anyone remember the scene from The Office US where they were taught a CPR class?

As it turns out, the timing of “Staying Alive” by the BeeGees provides the most accurate compression rate. Just don’t get carried away by the singing.

2.) Angry Music Improves Your Performance

I don’t believe that anger is a useless emotion. Like with everything in this temporary life, one cannot exist without the other. The rain cannot exist without the sun, good cannot exist without evil, and happiness cannot exist without anger.

Anger serves as a useful function because it focuses on rewards, increases persistence, and makes us feel in control & more optimistic about achieving our goals. Go make a playlist of your preferred angry songs and put it to the test—go to the gym, play a video game, or clean your room.

3.) Music Can Make You A Better Person

Literally. A published study from the University of Cambridge talks about a year-long program focused on music for children eight to 11 years old. Other than having fun (which is one of the most important things at their age), the kids also learned emotional intelligence. After being assigned to either a music group or one of two control groups, their empathy significantly increased. This study supported their theory that music-making can promote “day-to-day emotional empathy”. Start ’em young, I guess.

So really, don’t feel bad for not vibing with someone whose music taste stands on the other side of the spectrum. Music works as a common ground but it’s not for everybody but ho knows, maybe your music taste will influence them and vice versa.

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