Headphones. Stereo in the taxi. Roadside barbershop. Fancy dinners. One thing links all of these: music. Music is as old as history. Caesars have come and gone but music has survived generations. It is everywhere. On that first and usually awkward romantic date, there are very few topics to bring up without coming off as a bore. You can’t talk about soccer or genotype. But music sets the ball rolling. New research shows that music can communicate basic human feelings. Do lovers’ music tastes affect the longevity of relationships?
In fact, a 2006 study by Peter Renfrow and Sam Gosling, revealed that college students, in their first conversations, talk more about music preferences than any other regular conversation topic. And with a person’s music taste, they form an opinion of his/her personality. While similar poles of a magnet are said to repel in physics, humans who share similarities have been found to be attracted to each other. Music is the magnet in this case.
Music Tastes and Attraction
Do lovers’ music tastes affect the longevity of relationships? A recent article in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin suggests that the value we convey by our choice of music — and not necessarily our personality, is the primary reason for this bonding effect of music.
Young Germans who were recruited randomly from internet sites targeted at rock, metal, hip-hop and electric genres of music, were asked to imagine meeting a person from one of the target groups with a preference for certain genre of music and it was noted that they were attracted to people with similar tastes.
Similarly, in Hong Kong, students were paired in rooms for months; and the results indicated that similarity in music taste increased their social attraction.
With people more likely to spend time with someone with similar interests and values, it’s okay to assume lovers, and couples would last longer with someone that speaks the same language of music. Listening to music in a familial group has long been known to strengthen social cohesion.
Neurologists have also found that listening to music increases oxytocin levels in the brain; a neuropeptide notable for deepening bonds and sexual contact.
So when your in-laws who are fuji lovers and they ask who your favorite artiste is, I am not asking you to lie; but if you say 2pac, then your chances of walking down that aisle might have just been halved. Music is a culture of its own.