The Close interaction of Human Psychology and Music

“Music is a world within itself, with a Language we all understand”

-Stevie Wonder

Music is a language we all know of, some speak, and others listen. We all have a specific genre we can relate to and resort to from time-to-time. Music is found in every culture, past and present, varying widely between time and space. People from all over the world, even the most isolated tribals have a form of music as a part of their culture. Hence, it is safe to conclude that music has been a part of human history ever since it’s existence or maybe even before that. Music portrays sides of human psychology we all can relate to. Read the following fun facts of music and psychology.

1.) What is the first musical instrument ever created?

Archaeologists suggest that the origin of music likely stems from naturally occurring sounds and rhythms and the first ever musical instrument was the human voice itself, which can make a vast array of sounds, from singing, humming and whistling through to clicking, coughing and yawning.

2.) Ever felt the chills down your spine after listening to a song?

A study by Nusbaum and Silvia(2010) suggest that those who are high on the ‘Openness to Experience’ trait are likely to feel the most chills while listening to music. So, how powerful the effects of music are, depends on your personality and less on the music itself! People high in the ‘Openness to experience’ dimension also regard music as a very important part of their lives.

3.) Feeling down? Put on a good song and actively listen to it!

A research by Ferguson and Sheldon (2013) concluded that listening to upbeat music will lift your mood but only if you closely listen to the beats. Letting the music play in the background and wash over you will have no effects. Actively listening to a musical piece gives you the experience of emotional overwhelming because of the way the music is composed.

4.) Research conducted by psychologists Jason Rentfrow and Sam Gosling suggests that knowing the type of music you listen to can actually lead to surprisingly accurate predictions about your personality.


Are your favourite sound tracks from Rhianna, Selena Gomez or Flo Rida?

Well, chances are you are extroverted, Honest and conventional. You are also hard working and have a high self-esteem. Research also suggests that coming up with out-of-the-box ideas aren’t your thing and you tend to be very restless.

Rap and Hip/Hop

Is Snoop Dog more of your style? People have a perception of Rap singers being high on aggressiveness when in reality there is no such thing. You are high on self esteem and almost always the life of the party.


Do you listen to Bob Dylan or Taylor Swift? Country music listeners are typically hardworking, conventional and outgoing. While country songs are often centered on heartbreak, people who gravitate towards this genre tend to be emotionally very stable.

Rock/Heavy Metal

Are you worshipers of Iron Maiden or Lamb of God? Despite the sometimes aggressive image that rock music and heavy metal project, researchers found that fans of this style of music are usually quite gentle. They tend to be creative, but are often introverted and may suffer from low self-esteem.


Do you love seeking out obscure bands and indie artists? Fans of the indie genre are typically introverted, intellectual and creative. According to researchers, they also tend to be less hard-working and less gentle. Passivity, anxiousness and low self-esteem are other common personality characteristics.


Do you find yourself listening to more of Classical like Beatles? You are more introverted than the rest of them are at ease with the world around you. You also have a good sense of your own self esteem.

Jazz, Blues and Soul

Are the bands Weather Report or The Rolling Stones an integral part of your daily listening doses? People who enjoy jazz, blues or soul music were found to be more extraverted with high self-esteem. They also tend to be very creative, intelligent and at ease.

5.) What color do you see?

Across the world, people pair different types of colors with different genres of music.

In a research by Palmer et al. (2013) people across countries showed remarkable similarities in connecting duller, darker colors with sadder pieces of music and lighter, more vivid colors with happier music. Hence, you have the Blues!

6.) Did that song remind you of that person?

Music has a great impact on our visual memory. We associate music with the series of events that took place when we were most attentive to the song. Ever closed your eyes to a song and taken down memory lane? So, this effect of music is used as a tool in rehabilitation for stroke patients.

Next time you’re listening to your favourite song, think about what makes it your favourite one. You’re choice of music says a lot about you!

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