Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology


Behavioral Sciences


College of Arts & Humanities

Committee Chair

Dr. David Ward


This study was intended to replicate previous research findings on musical preferences as a result of specific personality typing; explore the potential for using musical preferences as predictors of determining personality types; and examine changes in personality and music preference across various demographics. Existing research in the areas of music and personality have provided essential information that leads to understanding motivations and influences for an individual's preference. The current study, utilizing both the Small Test of Musical Preferences (STOMP) and Big Five Inventory (BFI), consisted of a questionnaire completed by undergraduate student volunteers (n = 362) via a campus-wide e-mail invitation. Participants responded to demographic and qualitative questions, the BFI and the STOMP. Pearson's correlations reflected multiple significant relationships, with the highest between Openness and Reflexive/Complex (r = 0.351, p < 0.001), and sex and Upbeat/Conventional (r = -0.332, p < 0.001). Further, ordinary least square (OLS) linear regressions for the BFI subscales ((1) Extraversion, (2) Agreeableness, (3) Conscientiousness, (4) Neuroticism, and (5) Openness) indicated the potential for identifying individuals’ personality traits through music preference, sex, and handedness. The study found statistical significance present in relation to all personality types where music preference was a predicting variable. Upbeat/Conventional and Energetic/Rhythmic music genres were the most statistically significant predictors. Limitations for this work include factors such as time constraints, lack of analysis of open-ended questions, and some weighted results, specifically Neuroticism in women; the study demonstrated support of almost all researcher hypotheses, reflecting relationships between musical preference and personality traits.