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The Campanile

Music tastes affected by peers’ preferences

Do people always follow the crowd? If you were to ask a high school student about the bands Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd, you are likely to be met with one of two different answers.

The majority may cringe, perhaps not having even heard of the bands. But, there still exists a rare breed of high schoolers who will instantly recognize these classics.

People, especially the younger generation, tend to follow trends, whether this be in clothes, hair style or even types of music. If everyone around you is listening to the same genre of music, you will most likely listen to it too.

Humans are codependent by nature, but it all depends on the extreme that the individual takes it to.

Social conformity is the result of conflict, with group opinion triggering a “prediction error” signal in the brain. The most conforming people have the strongest conflict-related signals.

In a study by French psychologists Serge Moscovici and Marisa Zavalloni, researchers asked participants questions about their feelings of the French president and their attitude toward Americans. The researchers then asked the participants to discuss each topic as a group.

When one group’s opinion swayed one way, the attitudes of the group members intensified toward that direction.

The researchers concluded that “group consensus seems to induce a change of attitudes in which subjects are likely to adopt more extreme positions.”

When we see our uncertain opinions reflected back to us, our beliefs strengthen. Any deviation from this trend would make one different and an outcast to the crowd.

The Campanile went around Paly and asked fellow students about their opinion on ‘70s music versus current popular rap and hip hop music.

Junior Hanna Corny said,  “Older music tells a story, while modern rap music always has similar sound and meaning” Corny said. “Others may be afraid to explore older music because it may make them different. I appreciate the music for what it is, not what others think of it.”

Corny is one of few who enjoys older music because she actually likes it. She also said that others may stay away from this music because it separates them.

Junior Bryan Kagiri, had a different response.

He said, “I listen to rap and hip hop because I love dancing to upbeat songs. I feel like I grew up in a generation where older music isn’t played. All my friends listen to the same rap music as me. That’s another reason why I enjoy it.”

“Older music tells a story, while modern music always has similar sound and meaning.”

Hanna Corny

Kagiri is one of the countless teenagers who primarily listen to mainstream rap and hip hop. One of the main reasons is due to his friends and peers who also listen to it.

Junior Bridget Leonard said she enjoys older music but generally listens to modern songs more.

“I think it’s really good and interesting; it portrays important messages,” Leonard said. “I listen to modern rap music more because it is played more, and my friends and I both play it often.”

Although Leonard listens to ‘70s music occasionally, she plays and enjoys modern day rap much more, unlike junior Kenzo Morales.

“I listen to a variety of music; I like whatever’s trending, but I also enjoy songs that are not,” Morales said. “It’s nice to be open to whatever you want, and not just like one genre.”   

Morales is aware of the minimal taste of music in his generation, and he tries to explore other genres from different times to deepen his appreciation..

The qualities of the music itself are often the last consideration when students listen to music. Usually, others’ opinions impact one’s emotional reception of a song before they form their own views.

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