Short Test Of Music Preferences (STOMP)

The STOMP is a 14-item scale assessing preferences in music genres. The STOMPR is a revised version of the scale assessing preferences for 23 genres.  In the original version, we identified four broad music-preference dimensions (see original reference below). Rentfow’s subsequent analyses (see Rentfrow, Goldberg,  & Levitin; 2011) suggest that five factors provide a better fit for the data. These factors are:

Mellow: electronica/dance, new age, world
Unpretentious: pop, country, religious
Sophisticated: blues, jazz, bluegrass, folk, classical, gospel, opera
Intense: rock, punk, alternative, heavy metal
Contemporary: rap, soul/r&b, funk, reggae

Note: The soundtrack and oldies genres don’t load on a single factor. So you can remove those two genres from the STOMP-R or simply not score them.

Music clips characterizing the dimensions can be found here:

Original reference:

Rentfrow, P. J., & Gosling, S. D. (2003). The do re mi’s of everyday life: The structure and personality correlates of music preferences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 1236-1256.


The present research examines individual differences in music preferences. A series of six studies investigated lay beliefs about music, the structure underlying music preferences, and the links between music preferences and personality. The data indicated that people consider music to be an important aspect of their lives and listening to music as an activity they engaged in frequently. Using multiple samples, methods, and geographic regions, analyses of the music preferences of over 3,500 individuals converged to reveal four music-preference dimensions: Reflective and Complex, Intense and Rebellious, Upbeat and Conventional, and Energetic and Rhythmic. Preference for these music dimensions were related to a wide array of personality dimensions (e.g., Openness), self-views (e.g., political orientation), and cognitive abilities (e.g., verbal ability).

Additional references:

Rentfrow, P. J., Goldberg, L. R., & Levitin, D. J. (2011). The structure of musical preferences: A five-factor model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 1139–1157.

Rentfrow, P. J., Goldberg, L. R., & Zilca, R. (2011). Listening, watching, and reading: The structure and correlates of entertainment preferences. Journal of Personality, 79, 223–257.

Rentfrow, P. J., & Gosling, S. D. (2006). Message in a ballad: The role of music preferences in interpersonal perception. Psychological Science, 17, 236–242.

Rentfrow, P. J., & Gosling, S. D. (2007). The content and validity of music-genre stereotypes among college students. Psychology of Music, 35, 306–326.

Rentfrow, P. J., & McDonald, J. A. (2009). Music preferences and personality. In P. N. Juslin & J. A. Sloboda (Eds.), Handbook of music and emotion (pp. 669–695). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Rentfrow, P. J., McDonald, J. A., & Oldmeadow, J. A. (2009). You are what you listen to: Young people’s stereotypes about music fans. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 12, 329–344.

More Information

1. STOMP manuscript (pdf format)

2. STOMP scale

3. STOMP scale (pdf format)

4. STOMP norms (pdf format)  Rentfrow P. J. & Gosling S. D. (2003). Norms for the Short Test of Music Preferences. Unpublished data, University of Texas at Austin

**We’re continuing to develop the STOMP by adding new music genres.  If you are considering using it, please contact us for an updated version.**  The latest version, the STOMPR, is available here.

A Portugese (Brazilian Portugese) version of the STOMP is available  here (in pdf format) as part of a larger scientific report on the instrument. It was developed by Carlos Eduardo Pimentel.