Here’s a theory that’s complicated, so it must be true, maybe:
“Musical Preferences are Linked to Cognitive Styles,” David M. Greenberg, Simon Baron-Cohen [pictured here], David J. Stillwell, Michal Kosinski, Peter J. Rentfrow, PLoS ONE 10(7): e0131151. (Thanks to Neil Martin for bringing this to our attention.) The authors explain:
“Why do we like the music we do? Research has shown that musical preferences and personality are linked, yet little is known about other influences on preferences such as cognitive styles. To address this gap, we investigated how individual differences in musical preferences are explained by the empathizing-systemizing (E-S) theory. ”
BONUS: Some researchers suggest there is no clearly definable thing that ought to be called a “cognitive style”.