New study reveals what your favourite genre of music says about your personality - and apparently metalheads are "gentle" and "creative" with "low self-esteem"

Crowd of metal fans
(Image credit: Medios y Media/Getty Images)

A new study has posited that there is actually a connection between our personalities and the type of music we listen to.

For the research, carried out by Very Well Mind, over 36,000 participants worldwide were asked to rate more than 104 different musical styles while filling out questionnaires relating to the 'Big 5' personality traits, which are categorised by five basic characteristics: extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness and neuroticism.

After the partakers offered information about their favourite music, the results uncovered a strong link between a person's psyche and their listening habits, but also noted that other individual differences played a part, too.

As for what the results discovered about fans of heavy rock music, the study claims "rock and heavy metal often project images of anger, bravado, and aggression", but adds that in spite of their aggressive music tastes, as people, they're rather different.

In fact, rock and metal fans were found to be "gentle" people, also revealing them to be "creative" and "introverted", but with "low self-esteem". 

Similarly, fans of indie music were defined by "passivity" and "anxiousness", with "low self-esteem", but the study also that noted that they're "intellectual", "creative" and "introverted".

In contrast, pop listeners were described as having "high-self-esteem" with "extraverted" personalities, and featured "honest", "conventional" and "hard-working" traits.

"People can make accurate judgments about an individual's levels of extraversion, creativity, and open-mindedness after listening to 10 of their favourite songs" reads the study.

For those looking to redefine themselves and alter their personality, the research offers this advice: "The next time you're putting together a playlist for your commute or workout, consider how your personality might be reflected in your song choices. 

"Try listening to styles of music that you don't normally prefer; research suggests that this can have a lasting positive impact on the brain". 

Don't overthink it all too much though, metalheads: we think you're just perfect the way you are.

Read the full study over at Very Well Mind.

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.