Cognitive Daily

Casual Fridays: What music is best?

We’ve recently seen a fascinating study on music preference: What causes people to prefer certain songs to others? Why do some of us love Jewel but others think she’s a bad poet and a worse singer?

We’re planning on writing up the results of that study for Cognitive Daily next week, but in the meantime, we thought we’d see if we could find rhyme or reason to the musical preferences of our own readers. In that spirit, this week’s study will ask you to rate three different, short musical clips.

This week’s study is a bit of a risk — we may not be able to duplicate the controlled environment or carefully selected participants of a research lab, but we’re hoping to overcome those odds with sheer numbers. So respond early, and tell your friends about this one, too. We’ll see if we can come up with any significant patterns.

Click here to participate in the study.

As usual, the study is brief — just 5 questions, which should only take a minute or two of your time. You have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, September 13 to participate — or until we have 250 responses, whichever comes first. Then don’t forget to come back next Friday for our analysis of the results!


  1. #1 stewart
    September 9, 2006

    Interesting, but what abou those who have multiple preferred genres (alternative + classical, for example). I annoy my kids when the ipod switches between Broken Social Scene and Bach

  2. #2 scott Spiegelberg
    September 9, 2006

    I agree. I would answer that I listen to classical and jazz almost equally, if given the choice.

  3. #3 Dave Munger
    September 9, 2006

    Yeah, these forced choice tests are a pain when you’re a participant, I agree. I mainly did that for my own convenience in data analysis.

    We’ll see if that was a mistake when we take a look at the results.

  4. #4 Nicole Brockmann
    September 9, 2006

    And what if you just don’t like the piano?

  5. #5 Cat
    September 10, 2006

    Were those clips from entire songs? If so, could you please post the song titles after you’ve revealed the results? I liked them! 🙂

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