Do you ever listen to the songs that your parents like? Chances are that you don’t. You probably think the music that they like is old and dull and that the songs on your playlist are much cooler.
But here is what scientists found recently: people’s music tastes change as they age, according to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. So it is likely that your own musical preferences will follow a similar path to your parents’, whether you like it or not.
We used to think that culture and personality are the only factors that affect one’s music choice. But researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK, gathered data from more than 250,000 people over the past 10 years. They noticed that as people age, their social circumstances change, and so does their music taste.
There are three musical periods that people pass through as they mature – “intense” , “contemporary” and “sophisticated”.
The first period comes in the teenage years, during which people like intense music such as punk and rock because teenagers tend to be aggressive and want to establish their identities as independent individuals.
But as people move into early adulthood, their lifestyle changes – they socialize more and want to build close relationships with others. As a result, they become more fond of contemporary music, such as pop and R&B, which is usually uplifting and danceable and played at parties where people hang out together and chat.
但随着人们到了成年人早期，他们的生活方式发生了变化 —— 他们更加频繁地社交，想要和他人建立起亲密关系。因此，他们变得更喜欢当代音乐，如流行音乐与节奏布鲁斯等。这些音乐往往振奋人心、适合跳舞，通常会在人们一起玩乐闲聊的派对上播放。
When middle age comes, things have settled down for most people. This period will be dominated by more “sophisticated” music, such as jazz and classical, as well as more catchy music like country, folk and blues.
“For many, this life stage is frequently exhausted by work and family, and there is a requirement for relaxing, emotive music,” Jason Rentfrow, a research member, told The Telegraph.
But you must be thinking: “Aren’t there old people who are still into rock music?”
Of course there are. But Rentfrow explained that their reasons for listening to rock music may have changed. “We use music for different reasons,” he said, and thus at that age people may listen to remind themselves of their youths.