Psychology: Personality and Music Preferences

Background information

Many researchers and neuroscientists concur that brainwaves have the potential to predict the popularity of hit songs. For example various pieces of equipment that record neurometric and biometric responses can be used to monitor the skin temperature, respiration and heart rate of the listeners of a musical piece.

Generally these are the methods that are also commonly used by neuromarketers in their attempts determine the popularity of their products. For example neuromarketers can analyze the subconscious responses of their target customers to particular stimuli such as adverts, brand names and packaging.

According to Burns and Gonzales (2002), the analysis of the neurometric responses is bias free, reliable and self revealing as compared to the contemporary methods of evaluating the popularity of products such as the use of surveys, questionnaires and other classic research methods.

This proposal focuses on how to effectively predict the popularity of a commercial musical piece using a variety of neurometric technologies such as Galvanic skin tension, EEG, ECG as well as EMG evaluations to analyze the reaction of the people listening to the particular commercial musical pieces and streamlines.


The research project will use are a number of scientifically proven neurometric technologies currently available that can be employed by musicians and their marketers to evaluate the neurometric responses of their target audience and listeners.

One of the common technologies that can be used is the Direct Brainwave analysis commonly known as electroencephalographic (EEG) analysis. EEG as a tool of measuring the popularity of commercial musical pierces is not only accurate but is also a reliable way of measuring the subconscious minds of the listeners of the music without any distortion of the results.

Generally the human brain is often structured in such a way that the EEG measurements are usually precise orders of magnitude as compared to the use of focus groups and surveys (Iwanaga, Moroki,1999).

For example the high resolution electroencephalographic arrays can always effectively analyze the brain responses to the musical stimuli and help determine whether the listener likes the musical pierce or not. The advantage of this method compared to most neurometric technologies if that it is not usually affected by temporal limitations like the fMRI methods. It is also less expensive and faster.

Another proposed neurometric measurement method of analyzing the responses of the listeners to different musical pierces is the use of Galvanic Skin response (GSR). According to many neuroscientists, GSR measurement is significantly useful way of confirming the emotional engagement of an individual to a particular stimuli such as a musical pierce.

Music remains one of the most powerful ways of sending and enjoying dynamic emotional massages such as languor, despair or joy. On the other hand, the stimulations of the emotions by particular musical pierce can illicit some physiological reactions that are then measured using the Galvanic Skin response techniques. In this regard, if the musical pierce is popular among a particular group of individuals, then the GSR recordings will be higher.

At the same time, unpopular musical tracks will produce lower GSR recordings on the listeners and therefore the level of the GSR will effectively determine the popularity of a particular music among the target audience or listeners.

Another potential neurometric response method of measuring the popularity of musical streamlines is through the interpretation of the electrocardiograms (ECG) when the target audience is listening to the particular tracks of music.

Numerous studies on the human brain have indicated that the emotions stimulated by the effects of a pleasant music can in turn result in strong physiological reactions which may impact on the muscle tension of the listener. ECG is usually measured using equipments such as Electromyograms.

Andreassi (2000) also suggests that a popular music will significantly arouse the listeners and increase their muscle tension level while a pierce of music considered to be unpleasant by the listener will have a minimal effect on their muscle tension. The reason is that the arousal of the emotions on the listeners by their favorite musical pierces is significantly correlated with their heat rates and muscle tensions.

Lastly, facial electromyopgraphy technology which is popularly known as EMG can be effectively employed as a method of measuring the neurometric response of individual listeners to determine whether they are pleased by a particular musical track.

Generally EMG is a valuable neurometric response evaluation tool that is commonly employed by neuromarketers in their consumer evaluation researches. The technology involves attachment of electrodes on the listeners of the musical pierces.

It is generally assumed that popular musical tracks are emotionally stimulating to the listeners and therefore the level of stimulation registered on the electrodes will depend on how the listeners view and regard the given track or musical pierce.

According to Pelletier ( 2004), different facial muscles are either associated with frowning( dissatisfaction) or smiling( satisfied) and as a result the electrical impulses that are correlated with these muscles can be analyzed to determine whether the audience or listener is satisfied or dissatisfied with a particular commercial musical pierce.


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