Personality and Music: Can Traits Explain How People Use Music in Everyday Life?

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This is a critical review of Chamorro-premuxic et al's 2007 study relating to trait theories and the use of music in everyday life. The primary focus will be on the theoretical basis for the study, as well as the methodology as influenced by said theory and finally potential applications and further research. The study used the Five factor trait theory, IQ(obtained using the Wonderlic Personnel Test) and the Typical Intellectual Engagement (Goff and Ackerman. 1992) to investigate relationships with three pre-defined "uses of music". These were, Emotional, Cognitive and Background. The hypotheses were that there would be significant personality differences between these uses, neuroticism would be correlated with Emotional use, …show more content…
The paper is grounded in previous research, but ,as it frequently mentions, there has been relatively little research relating to the actual use of music as opposed to preference. During this study participants were asked whether or not they recognised and/or liked various genres of music, the genres having been previously used in a factor analysis study (Rentfrow and Gosling, 2003). However, participants were only given a binary choice for each answer. This meant there were only three possible outcomes for each genre of music. This does not offer any kind of grading. Simply being aware of more genres does not mean that one is more aware of music as a whole. It also only demonstrates that they are aware of those options of the list, and does not allow for knowledge outside of it. This means that there is the clear possibility of a ceiling effect. Also, participants aware of musical genres other than those listed will not have these results included. For example, a knowledge of eastern music might correlate with a trait, this would not be picked up by the test. Thus the test serves as a measurement of how familiar participants are with a certain cultural set of genres, as opposed to measuring a more general awareness or preference or musical genres. The list was devised using American students as participants, while the current study uses participants from both English and American universities. Moreover, why certain genres are

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