Tuesday, September 28, 2010
(Originally posted on 8/11/10)
This is truly world-stopping news: One’s taste in music is linked to one’s personality. It is a fact of science, according to Professor Adrian North of Heriot-Watt University, who undertook a large study examining the relationship between taste in music and personality traits.
BBC News reported on this study here, and you should read the article if only for the description of heavy metal fans as “quite delicate things,” who are neither “suicidally depressed” nor “a danger to themselves and society in general.” Phew!
The article also presents a handy rubric of musical tastes and their corresponding personality traits. I thought it might be fun to look through some #musicmonday tweets and find ones that exemplify these important findings.
First up: Indie. According to the study, people who listen to indie have low self esteem, an abundance of creativity, do not work hard, and are not gentle. (Excuse me, I have to go throw my Vampire Weekend albums into a bonfire now.)
What luck! The first indie #musicmonday message I’ve come across is by Twitter user @party_sloth. Sloth! This is too easy. Partying is often a pretty creative activity, especially if, like mine, your parties involve a lot of Pictionary. And partying is certainly never gentle. @party_sloth tweets that he is “addicted to Menomena – Mines right now.” Addiction is generally contra-indicative of self-confidence, so there you have it. With one tweet and one user name, we see the truth behind Professor North’s study.
Let’s move on to “chart pop” next. Twitter user @bellavalentine2 wants her followers to listen to Eminem and Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie,” and adds that “Boys should never, NEVER hit girls.” (No snark: Endorsed. Maybe not the song, I haven’t heard it because I am not, apparently, a “chart pop.”)
The music/personality study says that chart pops have high self esteem, are not creative, are hardworking, outgoing, gentle, and not at ease. Based exclusively on one tweet and a username, I’d say we have conclusive proof that all chart pops are as the study describes. Bellavalentine clearly thinks she’s hot stuff, or she wouldn’t call herself “Bellavalentine,” no? And the “2” at the end indicates someone else had that username first, so there’s your lack of creativity. Her tweet suggests that she is working hard to push her gentle message, and is doing so in an outgoing way. And she’s tweeting about something she doesn’t like in the world, so she’s clearly not at ease. Professor North has done it again!
I think one more tweet from one more genre should provide conclusive evidence that North’s findings are correct. How about the “gentle creatures” listening to rock/heavy metal? (I’d do opera, but not many Twitter folk are #musicmonday-ing the Magic Flute, believe it or not.) Rockers, according to the study, are characterized more by what they don’t have than by what they do: low self-esteem, not hard-working, and not outgoing are hallmarks of the heavy metal type. But they are also creative, gentle, and at ease. They’re manatees, basically, is what this study is saying.
Twitter user @BLOODTREES certainly seems to fit the type! First of all, his username is in all caps, which suggests a low-self esteem need to assert himself. BLOODTREES recommends “Putrid Blood (Thrash Metal from Serbia) http://youtu.be/5hAzO5DzQ9s #metalmonday #musicmonday #metal.” I appreciate the extra hashtags—I would never have guessed that Putrid Blood was in any way a metal song without them. She’s tweeting instead of working, so she must have a poor work ethic, and Twitter is inherently not an outgoing activity. The pieces are certainly falling into place. She’s listening to music from Serbia, which is definitely creative, unless of course she is from Serbia. Blood is associated with menstruation, and menstruation is a feminine, and therefore gentle, trait, so the repeated use of the word “blood” seems to indicate a gentle spirit. As for at ease: Her username has the word “trees,” which reminds me of hammocks, and everyone knows that lying in a hammock is a great way to feel at ease.
Thus proved! Hooray science!
Role #mmodel: @EricGM, describing my Thursday and Friday: “Bouncing Souls ‘Anchors Aweigh’ and ‘Ghosts on the Boardwalk.’ Gaslight Anthem ‘American Slang.’ #musicmonday,” If you’re nice, I’ll tell you about my Gaslight Anthem concert experience.
My #musicmonday pick: Sometimes I’m a manatee and listen to metal. Today: Sin Dios’s Alerta Antifascista. (h/t to the brilliant, profane No Gods No Vegetables for this band and, honestly, any metal I find my manatee brain enjoying.)
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Posted by Jon at 7:43 AM