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Turn on the radio or click play; your favorite song begins to fill your ears. You bob your head and maybe sing along, but do you question why you like the music you are hearing? Many research studies indicate that people’s emotional states dictate their music preference; however, music preference is determined by a combination of a person’s self view and the culture they are immersed in. As technology advances and the music delivery system evolves, music is able to be played more and with the option of new genres and songs. My theory is, picture a world without music, and you will witness an identity crisis and silence consuming mostly everyone. This paper explores how people’s values and self-views are shifting due to the correlation between the transformation of the music delivery system and the evolution of culture to a more technology driven world. In order to understand the connections between music preference and personality, I looked at research studies that focused on neurological responses to music, psychology of music, and human identity in connection to music. With this research, I divided music listeners into two categories of active and passive listeners. I found that the juxtaposition of a human’s need to be an individual while still fitting in with a group shapes how a person projects their values in their environment. Overall, the techno-centric world that we live in has produced a human desire of instant gratification in a disposable world, acting as an umbrella over the understandings as to why people like the music that they do.

Publication Date


Current Academic Year


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Mary Mullins


Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

Is Part Of

VCU Undergraduate Research Posters


© The Author(s)

Determinants of Music Preference: Why Do You Like the Music You Like?