Find Your Free Essay Examples

There Has Always Been A Preconception

There has always been a preconception surrounding certain instrumentalists with specific personality traits.

Particularly in contemporary music, regardless of the genre, there seems to be a larger presence of social perception.

There is little indication as to what extent personality traits have on stereotypes. Moreover,

There seems to be a stigma surrounding guitarists that suggests they are more outgoing and to an extent ‘arrogant.’ Many online blogs and articles present guitarists as “bigger douchebags than bassists” and bassists as “reserved and failed guitarists”. Though it may be a harmless joke amongst the band, could it be a contributing factor to the lack of bassists compared to guitarists. Using the Humanmetrics Jung typology test, this dissertation investigates the stereotypes and social perceptions surrounding these instrumentalists. Results indicate towards bassists’ personalities as a reflection on their stereotype, whereas guitarists are only marginally more extroverted. Social perception also gives an insight into the way we form an impression of guitar and bass players and how it may influence the younger generation.

Over the years there have been numerous psychological studies into classical music and classical instrumentalists; however, there has not been much research in terms of popular and contemporary music and their instruments. Many articles have been written about the topic, but they have not been portrayed in a very serious or critical way. (Scharfglass, M. 2017) Therefore, the research carried out is to uncover more information about the relationship between personalities of contemporary musicians and the stereotypes that they possess. The possibility of personality types influencing stereotypes have long been discussed, whether that be one’s gender, culture or even a preference of a genre of music. This study will primarily focus on guitarists and bassists and perhaps, break the divide in stereotypes.

One of the earliest definitions of personality stated, “Personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his unique adjustments to his environment” (Allport, 1937, p.48). Personality is what makes one person different from others; it is why some people are quiet and passive while others are loud and aggressive (Robbins & Judge, 2011). However, a modern definition defines personality as each person’s pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and how an individual reacts to and interacts with others (Robins & Judge, 2011).

Stereotypic social perceptions

Mainly focusing on extraverts and introverts

You don’t know the individual you only observe their reaction what they say what they do their actions etc. and that doesn’t give you the whole picture of that person. That’s a stereotype. Through tangible experience plus things you’ve heard, secondary information: famous guitarists like slash that he’s like a certain way in media, you start to form an opinion, and the same goes for bassists. Primary information/personal experience: directly involved, secondary into means they heard it somewhere,

Looking into 3 of the past academic research and their findings will be examined. Talk about Both the methods they used and their discovery/outcome.

Similarly, to the stereotypes of ‘loud’ guitarists and ‘quiet’ bassists.

The goal of this research was to examine guitarists and bassist’s personality traits and how they may influence the stereotypes attached to them. In hopes of developing a better understanding of where the stereotype was acquired and based on a review of the literature above, the main research question is, ‘Do the personality traits of guitarists and bassists compare to their stereotypes?’ e.g. ‘guitarists are loud and love attention’ therefore, are on average more likely to be extraverted. Specific sub-questions include, ‘is being part of a social category membership that influences an individual’s personality trait?’ and ‘is there a lack of bassists compared to guitarists because of their stereotypes?’

social perception, what guitarists, bassists and non-musicians think about it.

It was decided to conduct the test using an objective personality test, which was devised by Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother Katherine Cook Briggs. Using the theories of Swiss psychiatrist, Carl G. Jung, Briggs originally formulated an introspective self-report questionnaire to help women during World War II find war-time jobs that would be best suited to their characteristics. (, 2018) The MBTI consists of four dimensions, 1. Favourite world E&I: whether you focus on the outer world or inner world (Extraverted/Introverted) 2. Information S&N: do you take in the information or interpret and add meaning (Sensing/Intuition) 3. Decisions T&F: whether you decide based on facts and logic or first look at the people and the circumstances. (Thinking/Feeling) 4. Structure J&P: do you get things decided or do you stay open to new information and options. (Judging/Perceiving)

The Questionnaire used for the purpose of this investigation, is the HumanMetrics Jung Typology Test (HJTT), which uses a combination of both Jung and Briggs Myers theories. The website clearly states that “this version uses methodology, questionnaire, scoring and software that are proprietary to Humanmetrics, and shall not be confused with the MBTI.”

In total 200 participants, consisting of 100 guitarists and 100 bassists, responded to an online advertisement searching for guitarists and bassists to complete a version of the Jung & Myer Briggs typology test. Tests were completed by groups including students currently studying at ACM and social media forums for both bass and guitar. Ages and genders were not necessary, as the stereotypes being investigated are all inclusive and only regarding the instrument.

This research employs a qualitative approach, using a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods, data was collected using HJTT and Q&A about the results to see what some of the participants thought of the outcome. It was interesting to analyse the responses and discover the stereotype is also carried by the same disciplines.


It is hard to connect personalities to stereotypes as is depends on the person you are asking. Though there may have been a coincidence in the results, it is difficult to

Ultimately, it is difficult to draw a definitive answer from both past investigations and that of the results from the cohort above. It stems back to the saying ‘everybody is different’. It is likely if this test were to be repeated using a new group of people, the findings may have varied. If you used more people sample number. If I asked 1000

Statistically 2000 and you can generalise, like a government sensor you can get an average.

difficult to conclude that personalities alone, contribute to the stereotypes we as a society give to guitarists and bassists. It seems to be a combination of factors including, social perception, cultural, and ultimately

Stereotypes and stigmas go as far as guitar styles as well as just the guitarists themselves. Different types of guitarists have their own preconceptions of each other. Perhaps guitarists and bassists do not help themselves out in terms of stereotypes as they give them to each other. Society