Area of Psychology Investigated

Social-cultural psychology was the area under investigation in the article. This is so because the article stresses that music forms part of our daily lives because it consumes a lot of our time and features many social activities. Arguably, the research falls under social psychology because it concerns the social trends of human beings. It should be noted also that the research examined several people that originate from different cultural setups. This forms another reason why the research falls under social-cultural psychology because it is concerned with people’s way of life.

The Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study was to establish people’s beliefs concerning music, links existing between personality and music preferences, and the construction underlying music preferences. From the study, it can be deducted that people cherish music because it is part of their lives and they listen to music frequently. Listening to music forms an activity that people engage in from time to time. Another conclusion advanced by the article indicates that the purpose of the study concerning people’s music preferences and four categories were established; the categories include intense and rebellious, reflective and complex, energetic and rhythmic, and finally, conventional and upbeat.


The study employed a factor analytic approach as the methodology of the study. The study was conducted in different stages, whereby the first study explored the lay beliefs held by people regarding the essentiality of music in their lives. From the second to the fourth studies, the research concentrated on what formed the structure regarding music preferences. The fifth study was concerned with the distinguished styles of music and the psychological attributes associated with these types of music. The sixth study explored the connection between cognitive ability and self-views. The research also investigated the association between personality and music preferences and utilized the University of Texas population in its study, measures of personality, and self-views.

Results of the Study

The first result from the study concludes that music is as essential as other leisure activities because they listen to music frequently and in different contexts. Secondly, it was found out that music could be instrumental in determining the personality of a person.

The results from the second study to the fourth study reveal a meaningful, robust, and clear structure that underlies music preferences.  

Results from study five indicate that music attributes help in differentiating the music preference dimensions. It is possible to categorize the dimensions depending on their levels of energy, complexity, and emotional valence. The results also reveal scantiness in research relating to music preferences, which asserted a possibility of links between certain genres of music and definite personality characteristics, and this formed an incomplete picture concerning that topic.

Thus, the sixth study provided more information regarding the topic as it utilized two samples of college students. This study was able to identify the relationship between existing personality dimensions and music preferences, self-views, and cognitive abilities.

Authors’ Opinion

Rentfrow & Gosling (2003) indicate that earlier researches in the area of music were scanty, as they did not come up with a complete link between certain genres of music and definite personality characteristics. Regarding the first study, the authors indicate that music ranked on top of the list as compared to the other domains, which ascertained the significance of music in people’s lives (Rentfrow & Gosling, 2003). The authors also indicated that there are four dimensions under music preferences, which can be generalized across geographic region, time, method, and populations.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Study

The first strength of the study is that it explored different types of people and their music preferences. This implies that the study did not only focus on a specific type of music, but it generalized its study regarding music, which is the basis of a good research. Secondly, the study involved different genders; thus, the results obtained were not gender specific, as men and women tend to have different passions when it comes to music. Thirdly, the study explored the lay beliefs regarding music, which, according to Spaeth (1963), holds a lot of information relevant for the research. Music is listened to across classes, and it could not be a thorough research if the researchers focused only on the opinions provided by a certain class of people.

A weakness of the study is that it was only concentrated in one country, which means most information that is relevant to study was omitted because there are a lot of music globally that people subscribe to, and it could be beneficial if the researchers took their time to explore more than 99 percent of the music found globally. Another weakness of the study is that it assumed that cognitive ability plays a role in determining the music preference. This is not entirely true, as a person’s cognitive ability can be altered when a person takes certain drugs.

Conclusions and Recommendations

A possible conclusion from the article is that music plays a significant role in peoples’ daily lives as it influences their personality. Another conclusion is that music covers a lot of people’s time in a day as it motivates them to complete their tasks.

There is a limit in information regarding the way music motivates people while they are working. Thus, this can form a good area for further research as it will enrich the social-personality literature.

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