Study finds that we "stick with the music that captured us in the earliest phase of our adolescence"
A new study has looked at the music tastes of different genders and generations, finding that ‘Creep’ by Radiohead is particularly popular among 38 year-old men.
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, writing in The New York Times, explains that inspiration for his study came from a disagreement with his brother over Bruce Springsteen‘s ‘Born To Run’, which he loves but his brother doesn’t.
“I thought data might give me clarity on why my brother and I never seem to agree on music,” Stephens-Davidowitz writes. “In particular, I wanted to see to what extent the year we were born influences the music we listen to, the extent to which different generations are bound to disagree on music.”
Stephens-Davidowitz analysed Spotify data of the most streamed music by users of different ages, finding that women can be seen as most strongly influenced by music they first heard when they were 13, while adult musical preferences set in for men from the age of 14.
The study looked at Radiohead’s ‘Creep’, which is notably more popular among men aged 38 than other demographics. It’s the 164th most popular song among 38 year-old men, but not in the top 300 for those born a decade earlier or later. It is also noted how the men who most like ‘Creep’ would have been around the age of 14 when the song was released in 1993.
Stephens-Davidowitz also finds that The Cure‘s ‘Just Like Heaven’ is most popular among 41 year-old women (who were 11 at the time of its release) and 38-year-old men also like ‘Truly Madly Deeply’ by Savage Garden. Coolio‘s ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ is also described as “extremely unpopular among women in their 70s”.
“This research tells us that the majority of us, when we are grown men and women, predictably stick with the music that captured us in the earliest phase of our adolescence,” Stephens-Davidowitz concludes.
You can read the full study here.