Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Erin Doyle 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

My name is Erin Doyle and I am almost a graduate from the BSc in Applied Psychology course in IADT. I am particularly interested in the area of educational psychology. My goal for the coming year is to find work in the educational psychology area before I hopefully further my studies with a postgraduate course in educational psychology.

Investigating the Relationship Between Openness, Music Preference, and the Use of Music.

Over the years, research has suggested that certain personality types often prefer particular music genres. Similarly, studies have been conducted that indicate that people who enjoy particular geres of music often listen to music for different purposes, such as altering their emotional state, or focussing on and learning about the compositional aspects of a musical piece.

Project Objectives

A sample of 96 participants (23 males, 72 females, one non-binary) between 18-39 years was recruited to complete questions from the Big Five Inventory, the Short Test of Music Preferences – Revised, and the Uses of Music Inventory. Multiple regression and Pearson correlation were used to analyse the data.
Young adults are the biggest consumers of music on streaming sites compared to all other age demographics (Bayley, 2022). Because of this, the current study focussed only on this age group.
As individuals who are high in openness are often open to ideas such as new music genres (Vella and Mills, 2017), I wanted to focus on this personality trait to understand how individuals who score high in the "openness" prefer to use music, and what music they prefer to listen to.

Project Outcomes

My results have shown that individuals high in "openness" are likely to enjoy intense and rebellious music such as rock and heavy metal, alongside upbeat and conventional music such as modern pop. Interestingly, individuals high in "openness" did not tend to listen to music to alter their emotional states. There was a low positive correlation between "openness" and the preference to listen to music for "cognitive uses". This shows how individuals high in "openness" may like to focus on the compositional aspects of a musical piece while listening to music.