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Recent study on musical tastemakers considers parental influence, but may be biased

Photo Credit: Rukes
Photo Credit: Rukes

A recent study on musical tastemakers by TickPick linked the worldwide dominance of pop, rock, and oldies with a strong parental influence on children’s listening habits.

According to the study, only 14% of children and parents both listen to R&B with even more dismal numbers for Jazz, EDM, Disco, and Funk. Apparently, parents and children are far more likely to bond over their preference for pop and classic rock than any other genre.

The Genre Game

From TickPick’s “Music Tastemakers

Regardless of genre preferences, music can be a bonding force between parents and children

The numbers show that the positive effect of attending concerts with your loved ones transcends musical preferences. Simply enjoying music together helps parents and children bond.

Bonding Experience

From TickPick’s “Music Tastemakers

Especially for grown-up children, a concert can be a great way to share a rare weekend with your parents. We would recommend a “phone free” show, such as Lane 8’s “This Never Happened” tour to heighten the enjoyment of your evening together.

Relying on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk may skew research findings

While TickPick’s article presents some fun findings, the results are far from absolute truth. Like any study, the research methods used have certain biases that should be considered.

We surveyed 1,010 people using the Amazon Mechanical Turk platform [. . .] These data rely on self-reporting, and strict statistical testing has not been performed.

– From TickPick’s “Music Tastemakers”

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk connects “requesters” with a virtual workforce, and can be used to affordably survey a large sample group.

This “crowdsourced” method of conducting surveys has its limitations. While the study was transparent about the disproportionate number of female respondents, they made no mention of ethnic representation.

Pew Research Center performed a case study on Mechanical Turk research that was published in 2016. This study found that while 65% of working adults in the U.S. were white, a whopping 77% of U.S. Mechanical Turk workers were white.

Mechanical Turk Case Study

By underrepresenting minorities, crowdsourced research methods, such as the Mechanical Turk, may contribute to wider misunderstandings. For example, the parent-child bond over genres such as R&B, Jazz, EDM, Disco, and Funk might be far stronger than the study suggests.

Music preference is a complicated personal and cultural phenomenon. When it comes to building a nuanced understanding, these kinds of studies should be taken with a grain of salt.

What do you think of this study? Let us know in our comments section on Facebook, and Twitter!

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