Psychology professor speaks about ‘Personality and music: How who you are is related to the role music plays in your life’

Professor Michael Roy of the Elizabethtown College Psychology Department and his collaborators study the individual differences that influence the role music plays in a person’s life, and ultimately their personality.

As an active drummer Roy specializes in social cognition and combines his studies with his knowledge on music. In his lecture he talks about his multiple trips to South Africa originating in 2008. Since, changes have been made and the trips focus on peace and conflict studies. All of his research involves Elizabethtown College students, and most of them are coauthors on papers.

Students travel to South Africa with Roy and study the relationship between music and personality. Together, they do outreach work, and study places with apartheid rich history. They observe and collect data relating to why people listen to music, and what its role is in our lives. One example Roy gives is how people use music for emotional purposes, such as coping.

When asked about why he chooses to combine psychology and music in his research, Roy laughs and said, “research is me-search, you do research on what reflects onto you.”

After ten years working towards his dream research, Roy speaks about “how who you are shapes how you interact with music, and how what you listen to shapes who you are.”

The lecture takes place Wednesday, Nov. 6, from noon to 2 p.m. in the Susquehanna Room in the Myer Building. Tickets are $17.50 per person and must RSVP by contacting: