What Does Your iPod Reveal About You?

Feb 4th, 2007 | By | Category: Digital Music, Strange

iPod wienermobileTrue science: Researchers have discovered that the music on your iPod can reveal whether you’re intelligent, creative or outgoing.

Psychologists Jason Rentfrow of the University of Cambridge in England and Sam Gosling at the University of Texas at Austin, have found tha strangers can accurately assess another person’s level of creativity, open-mindedness and extroversion after listening to his or her top 10 favorite songs.

According to Rentfrow, personality clues are conveyed in the music’s tempo, rhythm and lyrics.

Does the music on your iPod tell people that you’re smart and creative, or that you’re a pathetic, lonely freak with a bizarre obsession with riding the Oscar-Mayer Wienermobile?

Based on the work of these psychologists and other research, here are some things that your music can reveal about you:

  • Smart Sounds – Fans of jazz, classical and other “complex” music typically have above-average IQ scores.
  • Easy listeners – Fans of country and Top 40 hits tend to be more conventional, honest and conservative compared with fans of other genres. “People who like country and pop might be more simple-minded, and that’s not necessarily bad,” says Rentfrow. “They just avoid making things unnecessarily complex.”
  • Drama queens – Compared with other music fans, opera aficionados are three times more likely to endorse suicide as a solution to family dishonor. Don’t blame Madame Butterfly, though, dramatic personalities are drawn to opera.
  • Boom Town – Extroverts gravitate to music with a heavy bass line.
  • Parental advisory – Parents often worry that music – whether it’s Elvis or Eminem – promotes sexual or aggressive behavior in teens. Rentfrow’s work has found no direct link. In fact, fans of gangsta rap or heavy metal are often more timid and shy than other kids, he says.
  • Brain invasion – Whether you can study or work efficiently while listening to music may depend on how outgoing you are. Background music can help extroverts focus but tends to torment introverts.
  • Peak performance – It may work for Rocky Balboa, but music doesn’t always pump up athletes. Motivational music can give weightlifters an edge. Runners, however, don’t move farther or faster with the help of motivational music.
  • Motormouths – Fans of energetic music like dance and soul are more likely to impulsively blurt our their thoughts, compared with fans of other styles.

4 Responses to “What Does Your iPod Reveal About You?”

  1. JasonX says:

    Can it reveal if you’re a blowhard academic?

  2. Karin Hoegh says:

    How I would like to read a scientofic study about podcasts – not music – on iPods. Show me your podcasts, and I will telle you if you are….intelligent.

  3. Joe says:

    Cambridge University have just made an interesting video about Jason Rentfrow’s research, I think its worth a watch. Find it at…

  4. Very good, I think it’s interesting read.

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