Tory B. Nagel



December is a gold mine of potential snooping opportunities. With holiday parties in both homes and offices, clues to how personality manifests in physical and organizational ways are everywhere. This Christmas I was at a party and came across the host’s extensive CD collection and I couldn’t resist taking a closer look in the name of research and a love of CDs.


  1. This collection sits in the basement of the owner’s home. The basement was completely finished and is a regular lounging area for the family.

  2. The CDs were organized alphabetically by the last name of each artist.

  3. Approximately 90% of the music was in the rock genre with the remaining 10% consisting of blues.


  1. At first thought, having an extensive CD collection may lead one to think that the CDs are boxed up, dusty, and neglected. But in this case, they were honored with their very own shelves next to a large stereo in the room of the house that is considered the “entertainment room.” This tells me the owner is an active CD collector and values music truly for its listening and does not collect albums to leave in their packaging like some collectors.

  2. With a clear system of organization in place that remained consistent across each shelf, it’s clear the owner would score highly on the Big Five’s conscientiousness indicator. Those who are conscientiousness are orderly and have a great level of self-discipline.

  3. There was a lack of genre diversity in this collection communicating the owner is likely on the lower end of the openness indicator meaning they’re likely to prefer to be certain rather explore the unknown.