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  • Zoe Lim

Can Your Taste In Music Determine Your Personality Type?

A pair of beautiful headphones

For many of us music lovers, the songs and artists that we listen to are an integral part of our lives. A genre of music and its culture around it could influence our appearance, values & emotions greatly - sometimes, even without you knowing. Ever looked at someone's playlists and judged them based on their music taste? Or maybe others have done that to you?

The 16 Personalities Test

There have been numerous case studies that has revealed a strong link between an individual's music preferences & his/her personality.¹ An example of this would be the 16 personalities test. By taking the test, it will determine your personality type via acronyms like INTP, ENFP, ESTJ etc. Each letter of the acronym describes a certain characteristic trait. Take the test here to find out your personality type!

The 5 Music Genres & its association with Personalities

  1. Pop

Those who are a fan of Beyonce, Madonna or Michael Jackson are likely to be extraverted and outgoing. Pop listeners love to entertain an audience and surround themselves with the crowd. People are also usually drawn to them because of their liveliness and friendly energy, especially in social gatherings and events.

However, on bad days, these people can be turbulent and sensitive. Due to the constant spotlight, they may feel extra anxious and conscious of the way they act in front of others. Yet, turbulent personality types have strengths in its own and can be used as a way to keep a person in check.

Personality types : Entertainers (ESFP), Consuls (ESFJ), Adventurers (ISFP)

2. Metal

Metal lovers are an interesting case in the sense that they are the polar opposites of pop fans.

Those who enjoy listening to Tool, DragonForce or Metallica are usually introverted and intuitive. The common personality types of metal fans describes them as imaginative beings who are able to provide a different perspective as compared to others. They enjoy exercising their creativity to bring new ideas and viewpoints to the table.

However, weaknesses include uncertainty and insecurity. Metalheads may appear strong and level-headed on the outside, but they tend to have a fear of failure. They are the harshest critics of themselves and tend to second guess the choices that they make which can lead to further insecurity.

Personality types : Logicians (INTP), Architects (INTJ), Entrepreneurs (ESTP)

3. Jazz

John Coltrane, Chet Baker and Dave Brubeck listeners are likely to be extraverted and assertive. These are the type of people who are calm in a storm and are self-assured, laidback and easy-going. They have great confidence in themselves and are able to handle stress and challenges effectively without worrying too much about their regrets and mistakes. Most of them are forward thinking and future-focused as they push to fulfil their life goals.

On the downside, confidence may turn to overconfidence. Overconfident individuals are likely to overlook on important details which could come off as being under-prepared. This can be a great disadvantage as it could lead to missed opportunities that can be beneficial in life.

Personality types : Commanders (ENTJ), Protagonists (ENFJ), Campaigners (ENFP)

4. Hip-hop

Hip-Hop lovers and pop fans share similar personality traits in which they are both extraverted and sociable. Artists like Outkast, Kanye West, Tupac and Jay-Z are some of the biggest names in the hip-hop scene who possess such characteristics. People who look up to these celebrities tend to be bold yet playful. They are not afraid to put themselves out there and love to take on risks.

On the other hand, due to their bold nature, an individual with this type of personality can sometimes be unstructured. They focus on seizing the moment, often forgetting to follow rules and social etiquette which can interfere with a structured procedure. Even though they may get things done, the process of it can create undesired fallouts and setbacks.

Personality types : Entrepreneurs (ESTP), Entertainers (ESFP), Executives (ESTJ)

5. Classical

Many do not know this but a surprising fact about classical music is that it is compositionally similar to metal music. It seems that metal and classical music have very much in common because people who listen to classical music are also introverted beings and great thinkers -- which are characteristics that many metalheads possess. In the personality test, classical fans show that they crave knowledge and often live by the facts. They use rational thought to make decisions and won't be content until a plan is well evaluated and thought-out. This makes them very valuable in organising ideas and rules.

However, like every other personality type, they have their own weaknesses. A thinking personality trait may come off as arrogant and condescending. They may feel impatient when others do not catch on fast as they do. This can lead to a superiority complex as they may judge those who have a lack of ability to demonstrate logical and critical thinking.

Personality types : Architects (INTJ), Commanders (ENTJ), Debaters (ENTP)

So, does your personality align with your music taste?

References :


Zoe is an avid fan of all kinds of music. Her primary instrument is the guitar but she is always passionately learning how to play other instruments such as the drums and keyboard. She is currently playing the bass guitar in a band and has been routinely involved in music since she was a child.

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