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The University of Southampton
PsychologyOur news, events & seminars

The Social Psychology of Musical Preferences Seminar

Time:
16:00 - 17:00
Date:
28 February 2013
Venue:
Building 44 (Shackleton) Room 3095 University of Southampton Highfield Campus Southampton SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Allyson Marchi on 02380 599645 or email A.Marchi@soton.ac.uk .

Event details

Music is a pervasive social phenomenon found in every known human culture. Individuals demonstrate manifestly different preferences for music, and yet relatively little is known about the underlying structure of those preferences or their psychological correlates.

Music is a pervasive social phenomenon found in every known human culture. Individuals demonstrate manifestly different preferences for music, and yet relatively little is known about the underlying structure of those preferences or their psychological correlates. Results from multiple studies involving several thousand participants have converged to suggest that there exists a latent five-factor structure underlying music preferences that is genre-free, and reflects primarily emotional/affective responses to music.

These five orthogonal dimensions can be interpreted as: Mellow, Unpretentious, Sophisticated, Intense, and Contemporary (or MUSIC). Investigations of the correlates of MUSIC preferences reveal robust links to psychological values and personality traits. Furthermore, results from cross-sectional data reveal normative age trends in preferences that correspond to the social roles individuals assume at different life stages. Taken together, the results from this work suggest that individuals seek out musical styles that reflect and reinforce their values, personalities, and identities.

Speaker information

Dr Peter J Rentfrow, University of Cambridge. Broadly speaking, his research program examines the links between basic personality traits and common social psychological processes.

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