The Loh Down On Science

Your nationality affects more things than you think!

Does your nationality dictate your musical tastes?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Meet psychologists in Australia.  They study what’s called “taste publics.”  That’s a phrase for general, regional preferences.  Think:  Americans like baseball caps!  The French like berets.

A long-held assumption says that public tastes also vary by social group.  Highbrow art for the wealthy, and so on.  But is that true?

To find out, the researchers posted a music survey online.  Anyone, worldwide, could respond.  It asked:  What music do you like?  Why?  It also surveyed education and income.

They received almost twenty-nine thousand responses!  They focused their analysis on five regions with the most responses:  North America; Scandinavia; Australia plus New Zealand; France plus Germany; Britain plus Ireland.

And?  Education and income didn’t matter!  Regionally, people prefer the same music. Scandinavia?  Rock!  France and Germany?  Really rebellious rock! 

Americans?  Classical!  Yep.  Classical.  Why?  Mood management:  lowering tension, relieving boredom, et cetera.

Really?  Classical?  Study be darned, they’ll have to pry my show tunes out of my cold dead hands.  So don’t cry for me, Argentina.

***** For more 90-SECOND SCIENCE FACTS, click here.*****

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, in partnership with the University of California, Irvine, and 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.


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