Personality and Music: Can Traits Explain How People Use Music in Everyday Life?

Personality and Music: Can Traits Explain How People Use Music in Everyday Life?

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This is a critical review of Chamorro-premuxic et al's 2007 study relating to trait theories and the use of music in everyday life. The primary focus will be on the theoretical basis for the study, as well as the methodology as influenced by said theory and finally potential applications and further research.
The study used the Five factor trait theory, IQ(obtained using the Wonderlic Personnel Test) and the Typical Intellectual Engagement (Goff and Ackerman. 1992) to investigate relationships with three pre-defined "uses of music". These were, Emotional, Cognitive and Background. The hypotheses were that there would be significant personality differences between these uses, neuroticism would be correlated with Emotional use, extraversion with Background use, Openess and the TIE with Cognitive, and finally that IQ would be related to Cognitive appreciation of music.
341 participants from American and English universities were tested during classes. Fixed structure focus groups were carried out and a thematic analysis of their results was used to derive an inventory for types of music use. Finally, participants were asked whether or not they were aware of various genres of music and whether or not they liked them.
The results yielded numerous significant results. IQ, TIE, and openness were all significantly correlated with cognitive use, neuroticism was was significantly correlated with emotional use and extraversion with background, confirming the stated hypotheses. Additionally, liking various genres was correlated with IQ and TIE results, while recognising them was correlated with TIE results alone. The study concluded that the traits a person displays are related to the method with which they use music in their daily ...


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...Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 81, pp. 524-539.

Renfrow ,PJ. Gosling ,SD. (2003). The do re mi's of everyday life: the structure and personality correlates of music preferences. Journal of Personality & Psychology, 81, pp. 1236-1256

Saucier, G (2009). "Recurrent personality dimensions in inclusive lexical studies: Indications for a big six structure", Journal of personality, 77 (5), pp. 1577-1614.

Schellenbern, EG (2004). "Music lessons enhance IQ", Psychological Science, 15 (8), , pp. 511-514.

Srivastava, S. et al (2003). Development of personality in early and middle adulthood: Set like plaster or persistent change? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, pp. 1041-1053.

Terry, D et. al. (1999). "The effect of early music training on child cognitive development", Journal of applied developmental psychology, 20 (4), , pp. 615-636.

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