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This week Jim and Greg play scientist and talk to two professors, P. Jason Rentfrow of Cambridge University and Duncan Watts of Columbia University, about recent studies that seek to find out why we like the music we do. The first study asked college students to rate one another based on their favorite music. According to Dr. Rentfrow's findings, people who like music with a lot of vocals were found to be more extroverted. In addition, people who have eclectic taste in music were considered to be more open-minded and intellectually curious — a fact that bodes well for Sound Opinions listeners.

The second experiment conducted at Columbia University confirmed two widely held suspicions: Most people are sheep, and you can't predict a hit. Duncan Watts and his graduate students asked participants to go online, listen to a selection of songs and download what they liked. The results showed that people tended to choose songs which had already been chosen a number of times. This may account for why some songs stay on the Billboard charts for as long they do. The study also found that there was really no formula for song popularity. One song, "Lockdown" by 52Metro, ranked first in one test, but only 40th out of 48 in another.

The next story involves the perpetual newsmaker Michael Jackson. After Hurricane Katrina first devastated the gulf coast, Jackson announced that he would produce a single to raise money for disaster relief. Well, that was many moons ago, and the world has yet to hear a tune. Recently, however, an announcement was made regarding the song's status by the Prince of Bahrain, the king of pop's newly crowned representative. Sheik Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, will release the record on his own 2 Seas label. While the song reunites Jackson with partner-in-crime R. Kelly, as well as Ciara and Snoop Dogg, it does not have the star power of previous releases like "We Are the World."

Go to episode 13