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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Self Congruity Effect of Music: A Replication and Extension Study   Mentees: Sean Adami, Ruth Feng, Allison Kuo, Sahana Noru, Kellan SanchezMentor: Sarah Shafaeen


The self-congruity effect of music is the tendency of listeners to choose music based on how similar they are to the artist. The personality traits of both the artist and fan can be measured using the Big Five personality traits. Developed in the 1980s to group together personality traits, these traits include openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Openness describes an individual’s curiosity, conscientiousness describes being organized or dependable, extraversion describes a person’s inclination to seek stimulation from the outside world, agreeableness describes a person’s tendency to put others’ needs ahead of their own, and neuroticism describes being anxious or irritable. A 2021 study ran a series of three tests that measured the kind of musical preference, demographics, and perception the participants attained (Greenberg et al.). They concluded that there is statistical significance between the personality of an artist and those who self-identified as fans. The original research was reaffirmed through the programming language R. Further manipulation of the data allowed us to correlate the age of participants with the age of the band that most closely resembles their main personality traits. Furthermore, gender was another factor that displayed the self-congruity effect.

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