Classical fans are smart (and know it)
Reflective and complex is a perfect description of both classical music and the people who listen to it. According to Dr. North’s research, classical lovers are creative, introverted, and show high self-esteem; they see listening as a theatrical experience and share a mutual “love of the grandiose” with metal fans, though they tend to be older and make more money. They also may be smarter, according to a 2009 comparison of students’ SAT scores with their most-liked bands on Facebook. The study found that students who like Beethoven had an average SAT score of 137; more than 100 points higher than fans of the second-place entry (indie instrumentalist Sufjan Stevens). As for the lowest-scoring students? They love Lil Wayne. But don’t let that color your opinion of hip-hop fans…
Hip-hop fans are extroverts
Energetic and rhythmic listeners, hip-hop fans enjoy the social aspects of music: dancing, singing along, and experiencing it with others instead of imprisoning it in a pair of headphones. Like rappers themselves, hip-hop fans rated as extroverted and had high self-esteem in North’s research. Another study shows that rap fans may share a quality with Kanye West known as “blirtatiousness”; that is, the tendency to blurt out thoughts as soon as they are formed.
Pop fans are outgoing and nervous
Chart pop fans showed a lack of creativity compared to other categories, and tend to be worriers. They are, however, outgoing and sociable, and have high self-esteem. (In general, extroversion is linked with with a love of happy music). Listeners who incessantly replay chart-topping singles may be more likely to use music to regulate their mood, as the brain has been shown to release dopamine before the peak of one’s favorite song.