The “Big Five” personality traits theory weighs heavily into an individual's musical preference. Previously, we discussed how extroverts make up half the population in America, thus making their musical preferences some of the most crucial to understand. Today, we move on to “Openness to Experience” and explore the varying ways this trait can affect musical taste.
Richard Zweigenhaft claimed in 2008’s Journal of American Differences that the trait “openness to experience” has the highest effect on musical preferences of any of the “Big Five.” Overall, they prefer more complex sounds that come from jazz, classical, and eclectic music like NiaSound’s artist Terry Robb. They are also more responsive to songs that evoke sadness than any other high-exhibiting trait.
Maciej Karwowski and Izabela Lebuda published an article in the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts in May 2016 claiming traits that predicted creativity had the highest correlation with high “openness to experience.” The pairing of creativity and emotional openness works to explain why these experientials prefer emotionally provoking tracks.
Of course there are other factors that play into an individual’s preferences from their experience including age, location, self-view, and familiarity. However as more psychological research emerges our understanding constantly expands to encompass more of these traits.
Join us next time as we explore the musical tastes of those who display high “agreeableness.”
If you’re interested in having your project matched with the perfect sound, contact us for licensing opportunities and to curate a custom soundtrack.