What is your personality?

by | Jan 9, 2015 | Uncategorized | 4 comments

If you were to listen to one Christmas song right now, which would you choose? Make a decision before you read on – I don’t want to bias your response.

Your choice may tell something about you as a person, or, as psychologists say, about your personality (your enduring personality characteristics).

Think about your choice – does it suggest that you are religious or not? “O Holy Night” or “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”? Does it suggest that you are conventional or not? “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” or “So This is Christmas” (by John Lennon)? Are you a serious person or not? “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” or “Aussie Jingle Bells”? Are you a happy person or not so happy? “All I Want for Christmas is You” or “Last Christmas” (by Taylor Swift)?

When I asked myself to choose a song, I went looking on the Internet for the one I had in mind. When I found it I was surprised to realize it was sung by Adam Sandler. The title: “Chanukah Song.” It is a comedic Jewish answer to Christmas songs. What does that choice mean about me? Not that I am Jewish (I am not). It may mean that I can be highly unconventional. And that I like to laugh.

Can psychologists really determine an individual’s personality from the answer to one question? Not usually. We typically use answers to many questions.

Your song choice may say more about your experiences than about your personality. Did you choose a song that you associate with some supremely happy moment of your life? For instance, I recall taking my first child to a government building complex that played Christmas music outside even when the buildings were closed. She and I danced round Christmas lights, and I sang along. I imagined that my voice matched that of Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas.” Those were happy times.

I still do sometimes sing parts of “White Christmas,” and my usual holiday greeting to friends and family includes lyrics from “So This is Christmas”:

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

My interest in these various songs shows what? That personality is too complex to be completely captured by the answer to a single question. But your one answer might start you down a path of thinking about your personality characteristics. What are they? Are they what you want?

John Malouff, PhD, Assoc Prof of Psychology


  1. I like the long silent pauses and rests in ‘White Christmas’, that gives you time to imagine and reflect, and really crawl into the song with various years of memories. This is the one that popped into my head, before I read where you mentioned it. I like the narrative feel. It feels less like you are being “sung at”, but, apprised of, and, confided in, by the singer.

  2. Hi Beth. I also like White Christmas. Sung by Bing.

  3. Hi Naomi. These songs are new to me. Good songs help make Christmas a great time of the year.

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