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If You Want To Know More About Someone, Try Their Most Played Songs List

If You Want To Know More About Someone, Try Their Most Played Songs List

Think you’re taking a glance into the deepest, darkest recesses of someone’s soul? Not quite, it’s Spotify’s list of the most listened to songs of 2016. But according to research, song lists can give us a lot more than a mere glimpse into which tunes have gone viral this year.

A three-year investigation carried out by Dr. Adrian North of Curtin University, Australia, correlated the music preferences and personality traits of over 36,000 volunteers. The study’s findings[1] revealed that those who listened predominantly to a specific genre were likely to have certain personality traits associated with that style of music.

So if you’ve ever felt an instant connection to someone because of the music they like, or if you’ve gone the other way and cringed when someone told you what their favourite song was, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

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What can Spotify’s 2016 top streaming list tell us about people’s behaviour

Hip Hop

Well, Drake tops the list for most streamed artist of the year. According to North’s research, hip-hop fans are extroverted and have high self-esteem. They’re less likely to want to sit in their bedrooms poring over the sleeve notes, a pair of headphones shutting out the outside world.

Rap

Another University of Texas study suggested that rap listeners are liberal, tend to perceive themselves as attractive but are also prone to ‘blirtatiousness’, which is best described as saying what’s on one’s mind as soon as it comes up. Kanye West is certainly prone to it. We’ll leave you to decide if it’s a good or a bad thing.

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Pop

Justin Bieber, meanwhile, maintains his position as one of the most streamed artists this year. His attempts at breaking out of teen pop into a more rough-hewn gangster persona may have swayed some, but for those who categorise his music as pop, it is associated with low creativity and nervousness. It’s not all bad though! According to North’s investigation, pop fans also have high self-esteem, as well as being hard-working and outgoing.

Classic Rock

The Beatles are currently Spotify’s top classic rock artists of 2016. North’s study claims that classic rock fans are easygoing, though there’s a caveat. They’re also the most selfish according to the results. If Bon Jovi and the Beatles can both be classified as classic rock though, that’s a pretty wide-ranging genre right there!

Indie Rock

Indie rock fans, who sometimes get a bad rep as hipsters, are vindicated by the findings, which suggest they are creative and open to new experiences. There is a flipside, however, as they have a low self-esteem and work ethic.

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Folk, Jazz, Blues

Older styles such as folk, jazz and blues are, perhaps unsurprisingly, associated with deep thinkers, the genres being a staple for this years surprise Nobel literature prizewinner, Bob Dylan.

Classical music

Classical music lovers are also considered to have high intelligence, high self-esteem and are more likely to be introverted. Though these genres are practically non-existent on Spotify’s most streamed list of 2016, they’re undeniably present in spirit, modern artists borrowing heavily from the styles.

It’s a bit farfetched perhaps to think that a song list can give us a really profound insight into human behaviour. However, North’s paper does draw a direct correlation between musical listening habits and the behavioural traits mentioned.

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What Else Does Research Say About Music?

Not only is classical music associated with smarter people, it is also associated with actively making us smarter. There is existing scientific evidence that suggests classical music can boost brain power[2]. An experiment was carried out in which the exact same lecture was given to two group of students. One, however, was listening to classical music throughout and the other had no music on.

The students were tested on the material of the lecture afterwards. According to the researchers “students who heard the music-enhanced lecture scored significantly higher on the quiz than those who heard the music-free version.”

So educators can help students absorb information “by turning to some old friends: Beethoven, Bach, and Tchaikovsky.”

Music can also apparently make you a better person. A University of Cambridge study recently highlighted a link between musical learning and enhanced emotional intelligence. Similarly, psychology specialists pointed out that crime and drop out rates decreased a decade ago in Venezuela when music lessons were made mandatory in schools[3].

Musical preference has always been a source of intense emotions. Sometimes it results in equally intense, almost tribal-like, rivalries. Whether it’s Blur vs Oasis or Kanye vs everyone, people may enjoy both but they’ll never concede that the other’s better than their favourite. All we know is that according to mounting evidence, next time you’re sending someone a personal playlist, you may also be sending them a window into your mind.

Reference

[1] Individual differences in musical taste,NCBI
[2] Can classical music make you smarter, Barking Up The Wrong Tree
[3] Land of hope and glory, The Guardian

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Christopher Young

Freelance Blogger, Writer and Journalist

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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