Personality predicts words in favorite songs

Qiu, Lin, Chen, Jiayu, Ramsay, Jonathan, and Lu, Jiahui (2018) Personality predicts words in favorite songs. Journal of Research in Personality, 78. pp. 25-35.

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Psychologists have long theorized that people actively create, select, or modify situations in order to fulfill their psychological needs. However, little is known about how people use forms of art and entertainment such as music to enhance the potential for need satisfaction in their environment. In this research, we propose that people like certain songs because the linguistic cues in their lyrics are congruent with personality and hence can satisfy personal needs. To test this hypothesis, we measured participants’ personality and the linguistic styles of their favorite songs, and identified associations between personality and word use in lyrics, while controlling for preferences for melodic attributes and uses of music. We observed significant associations between personality traits predict linguistic cues in favorite songs, such as extraverts tending to like songs expressing positive emotions and conscientious individuals tending to like songs with lyrics that display cognitive complexity. These associations between personality and lyrics were stronger for participants who generally liked a song because of its lyrics rather than melody. These results improve our understanding of how people use linguistic cues in language products to satisfy their needs, and provide a new framework for understanding the mechanisms of musical preferences. They also have important practical implications.

Item ID: 56135
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-7251
Keywords: personality; situations; music; lyrics; linguistic cues; LIWC
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2018 23:17
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520505 Social psychology @ 50%
47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4704 Linguistics > 470411 Sociolinguistics @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 50%
89 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 8904 Media Services > 890403 Internet Broadcasting @ 50%
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