Thursday, 12 Mar, 2009 Science
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Analyzing Musical Preferences and Level of Intelligence

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Fans of Beyonce and Lil' Wayne may be disappointed to find that they're not really smart, according to a study carried out by a Californian student, who collected musical preferences of American high-school students and matched them with their performance at school.

PhD student Virgil Griffith carried out a research to discover that the smartest students enjoyed listening to Beethoven, Counting Crows, Sufjan Stevens, Radiohead and Ben Folds Five.

Among students that did the worst in school, the most popular artists were Lil' Wayne, Beyonce and Soca.

However, the study also found that jazz, gospel and pop and even classical music were behind such artists as Snow Patrol and Kanye West. The research showed that the smartest people usually listen to "indie" music.


According to Dean of the Institute of Music, Dr Ras Marcellino, music can have a benefiting effect on developing intelligence. "People believe that if you played them Mozart their intelligence would improve. There's nothing conclusive but it looks likely," he said.

Dr Marcellino also mentioned that admiration of genteel classical tunes was not the factor that can measure of brain power. "You get these kids who listen to pretty full on death metal, and then they go off and do high level mathematics and computing," he said.

It is worth mentioning that his favorite band is Coldplay the Mr Griffiths marked Daft Punk as his favorite. Interestingly enough, neither Coldplay nor Daft Punk featured on the student's graph.

The full graph is available here .

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