Temperament traits and preferences of music works with specific musical elements

Open access


The objective of the research was to check the relationship between temperament traits as classified by Pavlov and preferences for works of music containing specified musical elements. 145 students aged 19-26 took part in the study. The respondents completed the Pavlovian Temperament Survey and a Music Preferences Form. Statistical analysis showed that all the temperament traits classified by Pavlov were related to musical elements contained in the subjects’ chosen pieces of music. The following proved to be significant in regard to the subjects’ musical preferences: Tempo, Changes in Tempo, Rhythm Values in Relation to Metrical Basis, Number of Melodic Themes, Scale of Performance, and Meter. The results are consistent with studies indicating the impact of temperament traits (related to the need for stimulation) on music preferences.

Chamorro-Premuzic, T., Swami, V., Terrado, A., & Furnham, A. (2009). The Effects of Background Auditory Interference and Extraversion on Creative and Cognitive Task Performance. International Journal of Psychological Studies, 1(2), 2-9.

Chomiński, J., & Wilkowska-Chomińska K. (1983). Formy muzyczne (Musical forms). Kraków: Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne.

Claridge, G. (1985). Origins of mental illness: Temperament, deviance and disorder. New York: Basil Blackwell.

Crawford, H. J., & Strapp, Ch. M. (1994). Effect of vocal and instrumental music on visuospatial and verbal performance as moderated by studying preference and personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 16, 237-245.

Daoussis, L., & McKelvie, S. J. (1986). Musical preferences and effects of music on reading comprehension test for extraverts and introverts. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 62, 283-543.

Delsing, M.J.M.H., Ter Bogt, T.F.M., Engels, R.C.M.E., & Meeus, W.H.J. (2008). Adolescents’ Music Preferences and Personality Characteristics. European Journal of Personality, 22, 109–130.

Dollinger, S.J. (1993). Personality and music preference: Extraversion and excitement seeking or openess to experience. Psychology of Music, 21, 73–77.

Eysenck, H.J. (1970). The structure of human personality (3rd ed.). London: Methuen.

Eysenck, H.J., & Eysenck, M.W. (1985). Personality and Individual Differences: A Natural Science Approach. New York: Plenum Press.

Eysenck, S.B.G., Eysenck, H.J., & Barrett, P. (1985). A revised version of the Psychoticism scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 6, 21-29.

Furnham, A., & Allass, K. (1999). The influence of musical distraction of varying complexity on the cognitive performance of extroverts and introverts. European Journal of Personality 13(1), 27-38.

Furnham, A., Trew, S., & Sneade, I. (1999). The distracting effects of vocal and instrumental music on the cognitive test performance of introverts and extraverts. Personality and Individual Differences, 27, 381-392.

Kopacz, M. (2005). Personality and Music Preferences: The Influence of Personality Traits on Preferences Regarding Musical Elements. Journal of Music Therapy, 3, 216-239.

Litle, P., & Zuckerman, M. (1986). Sensation seeking and music preferences. Personality and Individual Differences, 7, 575-577.

Managan, G.L. (1982). The biology of human conduct: East-West models of temperament and personality. Oxford: Pergamon.

McCown, W., Keiser, R., Mulhearn, S., & Williamson, D. (1997). The role of personality and gender in preference for exaggerated bass in music. Personality and Individual Differences, 4, 543-547.

McNamara, L., & Ballard, M. E. (1999). Resting arousal, sensation seeking, and music preference. Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs, 125, 229-250.

Miranda, D., & Claes, M. (2008) Personality Traits, Music Preferences and Depression in Adolescence. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 14(30), 277-298.

Miranda, D., Morizot, J., & Gaudreau, P. (2010). Personality metatraits and music preferences in adolescence: A pilot study. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 15(4), 289-302.

Rentfrow, P. J., & Gosling, S. D. (2003). The do re mi’s of everyday life: The structure and personality correlates of music preferences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 1236-1256.

Rawlings, D., & Ciancarelli, V. (1997). Music preference and the five-factor model of the NEO Personality Inventory. Psychology of Music, 25(2), 120-132.

Rudak, I. (1995). Wartość stymulacyjna utworów muzycznych w zależności od profilu temperamentalnego słuchacza (Stimulative value of music depending on temperament profile of listener). Niepublikowana praca magisterska (Unpublished manuscript). Wroclaw: Academy of Music.

Sadie, S., & Tyrrell, J. (2001). The new grove dictionary of music and musicians. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sloboda, J. (1985). The musical mind. The cognitive psychology of music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sloboda, J. (1999). Cognition, emotion and performance: three lectures of the psychology of music. Warsaw: Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music.

Strelau, J. (2001). Psychologia temperamentu (Psychology of temperament). Warszawa: PWN.

Strelau, J. (2006). Temperament jako regulator zachowania z perspektywy półwiecza badań (Temperament as a regulator of behavior from the perspective of half a century of research). Gdańsk: Gdańskie Wydawnictwo Psychologiczne.

Strelau, J., & Angleitner, A. (1991). Temperament Research: Some Divergences and Similarities. In J. Strelau, & A. Angleitner (Eds.), Explorations in Temperament: International Perspectives on Theory and Measurement (pp. 1-12). New York: Plenum Press.

Strelau, J., & Angleitner, A. (1994). Cross – cultural studies on temperament: Theoretical considerations and empirical studies based on the Pavlovian Temperament Survey. Personality and Individual Differences 16, 331-342.

Strelau, J., Angleitner, A., & Newberry, B.H. (1999). The Pavlovian Temperament Survey (PTS): An International Handbook. Seattle: Hogrefe & Huber Publishers.

Strelau, J., & Zawadzki, B. (1998). Kwestionariusz Temperamentu PTS (Pavlovian Temperament Survey). Warsaw: Pracownia Testów Psychologicznych PTP.

Zuckerman, M. (1979). Sensation Seeking: Beyond the Optimal Level of Arousal. Hillsdale: NJ, Erlbaum.

Zuckerman, M. (1984). Sensation Seeking: A comparative approach to a human trait. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 7, 413-471.

Zuckerman, M. (1991). Psychobiology of personality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Zuckerman, M. (1994). Behavioral Expressions and Biosocial Bases of Sensation Seeking. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Zweigenhaft, R.L. (2008). A do re mi encore: A closer look at the personality correlates of music preferences. Journal of Individual Differences, 29(1), 45-55.

Journal Information


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 216 206 9
PDF Downloads 126 113 9