People who are good in analyzing events and patterns prefer punk, heavy metal, and more complex music while people who like a mellow music show more empathy.
In the research, 4,000 people participated, and they were put through series of different tests. They had to answer some questions so that the researchers could assess if they were „“emphasizes“ or „“systemizers“.
For example, they were asked if they were interested in how car machines are constructed, or if they were good at guessing how people were feeling.
Then they were asked to rate, from 1 to 10, 26 different music styles. The researchers discovered that empathisesrs preferred soft rock, folk, and R'n'B and that they enjoy songs like Jeff Buckley's “Hallelujah“ and Norah Jones' “Come Away with Me.“
Unlike them, systemisers favored “intense“ music, such as heavy metal and avant-garde music, so they enjoy songs like Metallica's “Enter Sandman“.
However, the researchers have gone even further and concluded that there were differences in the intensity and style of music favored by each group.
Doctoral student David Greenberg, who led the team, said that they discovered that a person's empathy levels and thinking style predict what kind of music they like. The researchers believe their findings could be used within the industry, for example by streaming services to improve their playlists.