Published Oct 22, 2014Here's a little fodder to use next time you're having a musical debate with your buddies: software application writer Virgil Griffith has been tracking the musical tastes of prospective college students in the U.S., and he's used this to determine how preferences change based on intelligence. His study is tastefully called Musicthatmakesyoudumb.
As Digital Inspiration [via Consequence of Sound] points out, Griffith's study cross-references SAT scores with musical preference as listed on Facebook. His chart maps out the 133 most popular musical acts based on students from 1,352 schools. (Read the exact ins and outs of the process here).
His findings? People from schools with high test scores favour U2, Radiohead, Sufjan Stevens, Counting Crows, Guster, Ben Folds, Bob Dylan, Norah Jones and the Shins. People from schools with low test scores, on the other bands, prefer Lil Wayne, Beyoncé, T.I. and the Used.
Interestingly, those who list entire genres in their preferences tend to be on the lower end of the spectrum; any mention of a genre is in the back half of the chart, and soca, reggaeton and gospel are particularly low.
We should point out that this study has limitations and isn't the most scientific piece of research out there. First off, it only examines college-age students, and not the rest of the population. And since it uses SAT scores, it's of limited use here in Canada, where kids don't take the SATs. Still, this is thought-provoking to say the least.
See the full chart here. According to the researcher, the study was initially done in 2008.