Can you imagine your life without music? It is so deeply rooted in our culture and everyday life. We’re exposed to music for nearly 20% of our waking lives. And it also can say a lot about our personalities.

“Where words leave off, music begins.” – Heinrich Heine

Researchers at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK, have undertaken the largest study so far of musical tastes and personality types. Over the course of three years, they asked more than 36,000 participants from 60 countries to rate more than 104 different musical styles in addition to offering information about aspects of their personality.

The following are just some of the personality traits linked to certain musical styles.

Pop Music

Do you prefer to listen to the top 50 hits? If so, chances are that you also tend to be extroverted, honest and conventional. While pop music lovers are hard-working and have high self-esteem, researchers suggest that they tend to be less creative and more uneasy.

Rap and Hip/Hop Music

In spite of the stereotype that rap lovers are more aggressive and violent, researchers have actually found no such link. Rap fans do tend to have high self-esteem and are usually outgoing.

Rock / Heavy Metal Music

Despite the sometimes aggressive image that rock music and heavy metal project, researchers found that fans of this style of music are usually quite gentle. They tend to be creative, but are often introverted and may suffer from low self-esteem.

Indie Music

Fans of the indie genre are typically introverted, intellectual and creative. According to researchers, they also tend to be less hard-working and less gentle. Passivity, anxiousness and low self-esteem are other common personality characteristics.

Dance Music

Do you love the fast-paced rhythms of dance music? According to researchers, people who prefer dance music are usually outgoing and assertive.

Classical Music

Classical music lovers are typically more introverted but are also at ease with themselves and the world around them. They are creative and have a good sense of self-esteem.

Jazz, Blues and Soul Music

People who enjoy jazz, blues or soul music were found to be more extroverted with high self-esteem. They also tend to be very creative, intelligent and at ease.

Country Music

Country music fans are typically hardworking, conventional and outgoing. While country songs are often centered on heartbreak, people who gravitate towards this genre tend to be very emotionally stable.

The research shows why people can get defensive about what they like to listen to, as it is likely to be profoundly linked to their outlook on life. The study also demonstrates the “tribal function” of musical taste that can explain why people often bond over music.

The next time you are putting together a playlist to listen to during your commute or workout, consider how your personality might be reflected in your song choices.