When it comes to predicting musical tastes “cognitive style [is] actually a better predictor of musical preference than their personality,” Alphr writes.”The researchers compared participants with high levels of empathy (a style of thinking defined by recognising and reacting to the thoughts and feelings of others) against those who scored highly for ‘systemising’ (thinkers characterised by understanding surroundings based on the rules governing them – whether it’s electronics or music.) Those with high empathetic traits showed a preference for “mellow music” (soft rock, R&B, adult contemporary), “unpretentious music” (country, folk, singer/songwriters) and “contemporary music” (electronica, acid jazz, europop). These were all disliked by the systemisers, who were more into “intense music” like punk and heavy metal.”