According to Dr Jason Rentfrow, of Cambridge University, musical preferences along with lists of favourite bands on profiles on social networking sites were "clear public statements of who we are and how we should be perceived, whether we are conscious of that or not", reports The Daily Star.
Rentfrow said, sample groups of subjects regularly made the same assumptions about people's personalities, values, social class and even their ethnicity, based on their musical preferences.
The research found that fans of jazz were viewed as friendly, emotionally stable people with a limited sense of responsibility, while rap fans were viewed as more hostile, but energetic and athletic. Classical music was linked to upper-class people and rap to people from lower class backgrounds.
Rentfrow, of the university's department of social and developmental psychology, said: "Humans, as social beings, develop techniques that help them to predict what another person is going to be like from the moment they first meet.
"Because we can't carry out a full psychological assessment on the spot, we ask them questions which help us to build up a picture of their personality.
"This research suggests that, even though our assumptions may not be accurate, we get a very strong impression about someone when we ask them what music they like."