Does the Music We Listen to Correlate with Our Level of Introversion or Extroversion?
Sponsored by Missouri Western State University Sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation DUE-97-51113
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The proper APA Style reference for this manuscript is:
PARKS, M. L. (2001). Does the Music We Listen to Correlate with Our Level of Introversion or Extroversion?. National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse, 4. Available online at Retrieved April 25, 2017 .

Does the Music We Listen to Correlate with Our Level of Introversion or Extroversion?
Missouri Western State University DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY

Sponsored by: Brian Cronk (
The purpose of this experiment is to see whether or not there is a relationship between a person’s musical preference and their level of introversion or extroversion. For this experiment, 26 Psychology 101 students were given a survey on introversion and extroversion. They were also given a musical preference sheet and heard examples of each of the 10 musical genres that were represented on the scale. They then rated each genre in order of preference. A one-way ANOVA will be done to analyze the results and see if there is a significant relationship between a person’s musical preference and their level on the introversion-extroversion scale.

There have been many different studies that encompass different aspects of a person’s personality. Different aspects of a person’s personality can be found on such scales as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test (Banks,1994). One of the most common measurements on this scale is the rating of introversion versus extraversion. Introversion/extraversion is what makes up one of the more visible features of a persons personality. Expressions of the trait of extraversion/introversion are pervasive in nature and can be observed across many different situations in an individual’s life (Banks, 1994). Preference is part of an individual’s personality and this particular trait helps make each person different from every other. Preference is what makes people’s likes, dislikes, and opinions unique (Banks, 1994). When the word preference is brought up with the subject of music, a variety of answers can be heard. All people have an opinion on what type of music they prefer, but the question is, is there a relationship between their personality type, and the music they prefer? Music is something that can entertain, enlighten, and calm people. It can also have negative effects if the person is not prone to that type of music. It’s been said that music contains certain arousing properties that could stimulate such things as cognitive process. For example, extraverts are considered to be on the low level of arousal scale since they are so vibrant, so presence of music would raise that level. However, introverts, who are normally highly aroused, would perform more poorly, since they would be over stimulated (Daoussis, 1986). This is a good sign at why some people might prefer some music over others, but that has been looked at in other projects (Daoussis, 1986). There have been other studies that have compared personality type’s and musical type’s to see if there was a relationship (Robinson, 1996). In this study, five personality characteristics were looked at. They included extraversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism, to name a few. People’s scores on a test measuring those variables was compared to what type of music they liked either rebellious hard rock, normal rock music, or easy going music, similar to what will be done in this study.In this study, one aspect of a person’s personality, introversion/extraversion will be looked. An individual’s musical preference will also be taken into account. It is hypothesized then, that there will be a relationship between a persons rating on an introversion/extraversion scale to their musical genre preference.


All the participants in this study were students at Missouri Western State College. Subjects were of varying age. All the students involved in the experiment were enrolled in Dr. Cluff’s Psychology 101 class from 8:00 AM to 9:20 AM on Tuesday and Thursday. A total of 26 students participated in this study.

Two scales were used in this procedure. The first was a musical preference scale that was constructed by the student researcher. The scale consisted of ten different musical genre’s. The subjects were asked to rate their preference on a scale from one to ten. The second scale was a modified introversion-extroversion scale that was found at, since the original was too lengthy for the allotted time given to distribute the survey. Examples of both scales can be found in the appendix.

Both of the surveys were given to Dr. Cluff’s Psychology 101 class on the morning of November 13, 2001. After the survey’s were passed out, the student researcher gave them directions to listen to the CD that was about to be played for an example of each of the musical genre’s. After hearing each of the musical clips, the subject’s then rated the musical genres in order of personal preference. After this portion of the survey was finished, they then started the introversion-extroversion section of the survey. The data from the surveys was then scored and entered into SPSS 10.0, where a one-way ANOVA was done to analyze the results.

A one-way ANOVA was computed comparing the scores on the introversion-extroversion scale to the subject’s first musical preference and their tenth musical preference. No significant difference was found in their first choice (F(17,8) = .255, p> .05) or in their tenth choice (F(17,8) = 2.731, p> .05) when compared to their score on the introversion-extroversion scale.

The hypothesis for this experiment was that there would be a correlation between the subjects rating on the introversion-extroversion scale and their musical preference. From the results of this experiment, there was no significant correlation between levels on the introversion-extroversion scale, and the subject’s musical preference. As with most studies, there were some limitations. The small number of subjects in the study could have influenced the results to not show any level of significance. The samples of music played could have also influenced the results. Age could also have been a factor due to the fact that all subjects were roughly the same age. This study could be improved upon by including an even more diverse selection of music. For example, there are many different kinds of rock music, but for this experiment, all were grouped under one category. The study could also be improved by including a larger sample of various aged people. If the experiment was repeated, it is believed that you would see a correlation going towards introversion or extroversion, but not both.

Banks, M., Christopher, D., Fucci, D., Leach, E., & Petrosino,L. (1994). Effect of personality on magnitude-estimation scaling of complex auditory stimuli. Perceptual & Motor Skills,79, 435-442.

Daoussis, L., & McKelvie, S.J. (1986). Musical preferences and effects of music on reading comprehension test for extraverts and introverts. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 62, 283-289.

Robinson, T.O., & Weaver, J.B. (1996). Exploring the relationship between personality and the appreciation of rock music. Psychological Reports, 78, 259-269.

Below are ten different music genres. You will hear a sample of each music genre played. After hearing all the clips, rate each one according to personal preference. 1 being the type of music you would listen to the most, and 10 being the type of music you would almost never listen to. Use each number only once. Classical ______

Rap ______

Rock ______

Country ______

R&B ______

Big Band ______

Easy listening ______

Pop ______



Age Sex

Read each statement below. Circle the answer that you think most describes you in each situation.

1. I think strangers find me

Much more approachable

More approachable relatively


Less approachable;

Much less approachable than most people

2. When dealing with people I don`t know very well, I feel I am

Extremely reserved;

Very reserved;

Quite reserved;

Somewhat reserved;

Not reserved at all

3. Small-talk is something

I truly enjoy

I enjoy

I neither like nor dislike

I dislike

I hate passionately

4. A new kind of social interaction

Almost always taxes my nerves/energy

Usually taxes my nerves/energy

Sometimes stimulates me

Sometimes taxes my nerves/energy

Usually energizes and stimulates me Almost always energizes and stimulates me

5. When the phone rings and I am not alone (at home, at work etc.),

I almost always run to get it first

I usually run to get it first

I get it if no one else runs to pick it up

I usually wait for someone else to get it

I always let someone else answer it

6. When I am stuck with someone I don`t know in a situation that requires conversation,

I feel very uncomfortable

I feel quite uncomfortable

I feel somewhat uncomfortable

I feel quite comfortable

I feel very comfortable

7. At parties,

I never get bored I rarely get bored

I sometimes get bored

I usually get bored

I always get bored

8. At parties, I almost always leave as soon as I can without offending the host

I usually leave as soon as I can without offending the host

I sometimes leave earlier than I have to

I usually stay as late as I can

I almost always stay as late as I can

9. People like myself are, in general,

Very easy to get to know

Quite easy to get to know

Relatively easy to get to know

Quite difficult to get to know

Very difficult to get to know

10. When I have a tip or trick which might be useful to others in a given situation,

I almost always share it

I usually share it

I sometimes keep it to myself I usually keep it to myself

I almost always keep it to myself

11. Other things being equal,

I am almost always most efficient when I work alone

I am usually most efficient when I work alone

I am equally efficient whether I work in a team or alone

I am usually most efficient when I work in a team

I am almost always most efficient when I work in a team

12. In general, I feel close to people who seem to be’

Very sociable and usually surrounded by people

Relatively sociable and often seen with other people

Somewhat detached and sometimes alone

Quite detached and often alone

Very detached and usually alone

13. When I am alone,

I feel very comfortable

I feel quite comfortable

I feel just fine

I feel somewhat uncomfortable

I feel very uncomfortable

14. Given the choice,

I would always prefer to be around an intimate friend than someone popular

I would usually prefer to be around an intimate friend than someone popular

I would sometimes prefer to be around someone popular than an intimate friend

I would usually prefer to be around someone popular than an intimate friend

I would always prefer to be around someone popular than an intimate friend

15. I would be willing to have a decent and lengthy conversation with

Almost anybody, including strangers

Most people, including strangers

Many people, including some strangers

Several people, mostly known to me, and certain strangers

Very few people known to me and almost never with strangers

Submitted 11/29/2001 9:05:14 AM
Last Edited 11/29/2001 11:36:11 AM
Converted to New Site 03/09/2009

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