Who doesn’t like to be able to parade their objectively amazing music taste around on the internet? Nobody, that’s who. Good thing too, because now it’s been made easier than ever. Recently, a Ph.D. student named Virgil Griffith at the California Institute of Technology has done a study one the correlation between average SAT scores and music tastes. Pretty cool, right? On the website for the study, Griffith says
“I've listened to artists who after listening to I thought to myself ‘Wow... loving this rubbish says a lot about someone and how much they got going on in their head.’ Could one's musical tastes say something about intelligence? How about SAT scores? Well, like any good scientist, I decided to see how well my personal experience matches reality. How might one do this?
"Well, here's one idea. Get a friend of yours to download, using Facebook, the ten most frequent "favorite music" at every college via that college's Network Statistics page on Facebook (manually -- as not to violate Facebook's ToS). These ten "favorite musics" are perhaps indicative of the overall intellectual milieu of that college.
"Download the average SAT/ACT score (from CollegeBoard) for students attending every college.
"Presto! We have a correlation between musical tastes and dumbitude (smartitude too)! Music <=> Colleges <=> Average SAT Scores
"Plot the average SAT of each ‘favorite music’, discarding those with too few samples to have a reliable average.
"Post the results on your website, pondering what the Internet will think of it.”
And the internet did just that; they shared every angry thought that they had. The comments section for the page is a seemingly endless hurricane of people parading their eclecticism, trying to convince anyone who will listen that they love Beyonce and they are intelligent, and other people adding as much fuel to the flame as possible, it’s quite hilarious.
The study finds that artists like Radiohead, Sufjan Stevens, Bob Dylan, The Shins, Beethoven (no surprise), and Counting Crows (for whatever reason) are the favorites of people with higher SAT scores, while artists like Lil Wayne, Beyoncé, The Used, and gospel music are on the dumber side of things. There are a lot of bands in between, so it’s almost easier to compare bands by genre instead of overall.
Before you comment though, and fall victim to the same butthurt as the poor souls in the page’s comments section, no one is claiming that the music you listen to will actually make you smart or dumb. This fact was so misunderstood that Griffith actually had to make a bolded post on the front page reminding readers that correlation ≠ causation.
Honestly, though, despite it not being an actual source of any relevant or life-changing information for most people, the study is still worth a laugh or two. Especially considering that Lil Wayne is at the bottom by a fairly large margin. Send it to friends, family, coworkers, random forum users, and spam boxes so you can parade how much smarter you are than everyone.
Check out the page HERE