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Music has become an integral part of daily life in Western culture. Individuals use music for various purposes including emotion regulation, and each individual has different tendencies and preferences for how they use music. Previous research indicates that people are likely to listen to mood-congruent music and that personality characteristics--specifically those of the Big 5 personality inventory-- may predict music preference and how people choose to use music for emotion regulation.

To further address these questions, we assessed personality and music usage in a sample of undergraduate students. We predicted that affect-related traits like Neuroticism and Extraversion would predict both general emotional tone of music choice as well as some specific music use habits (e.g., using music to regulate emotion). In keeping with expectations, Neurotic individuals were more likely to listen to sad music in general, but contrary to previous findings, we found that the majority of participants, regardless of personality, indicated a preference for mood-incongruent music. Implications for future research are discussed.