Musical insights

Date of publication: February 11, 2009


The potential of the music-listening behaviour of individuals in designing market research methodologies has hitherto remained virtually untapped. This paper presents a novel method of grouping people in accordance with their personality traits that get reflected in their favourite music. The authors sent a structured brief inspiring respondents to voluntarily convey the list of favourite music tracks they are emotionally attached to. These preferences were quantified by an asymmteric measure to capture musical bonding between any pair of respondents. An inherently asymmetric measure was proposed since no matter how much I like her and consider her likings similar to mine she may not like me as much! A methodology was developed to identify the clusters that exist among the respondents based on the peculiarity of this asymmetric bonding information. Next in order to describe the profile characteristics of a cluster, the favourite tracks common among the members of the resultant clusters were analyzed. For this a 7-step structured analysis protocol called Psychological Fingerprinting was developed. The research finds direct applications in employee profiling to identify their training and development needs, candidate screening for recruitment, identification of core strengths for career counselling, direct marketing, and to consumer.

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