Using survey data, we offer a specific test of the general claim that character type—specifically, inner- versus other-direction—is a significant factor in the social influence process. Riesman (1950, 1954) defined character not in terms of idiosyncratic psychological processes, but rather as a robust outcome of socialization. We placed respondents on an inner- versus other-direction continuum using a previously developed 36-item scale (the I-O scale). In addition, we asked respondents to provide information bearing on several indicators of social influence in terms of popular musical culture. The results indicate that I-O significantly predicts musical preference controlling for a variety of demographic characteristics.
Riesman's character typology and musical preferences