Here’s something that is sure to get the hairs up on some peoples’ backs. Virgil Griffith, the creator of WikiScanner and a grad student from CalTech did some research which studied the relationship between musical styles and bands and the SAT scores of the people who listened to them. He found that the smartest students listened to Beethoven (average SAT of 1371) and the students who rung in at the bottom of the SAT scores listened to Lil’ Wayne (average SAT of 889).
The average SAT score is around the 1000-1100 mark, and unsurprisingly most bands’ listeners fit into this range.
Of course the (unanswered) question is: What is the relationship?
Do you choose music based on your intelligence? Surely your personality has something to do with musical tastes, doesn’t it? Can listening to certain types of music make you dumb or smart? Do people gravitate towards a certain type of music because they are smart and think that it will make them seem smarter?
I’ll leave that for you to decide. In the meantime, here’s the chart:
Where does your Music Rank?
Thats weird, I listen to My Chem ,Fall Out Boy etc. but I’m getting a high A in all of my classes
You will get better grades in your class if you listen to Beethoven and no offense you probrably dont take all AP classes because if you do you would not have all A’s
That’s rubbish Chile. You’re confusing correlation with causation. I like Beyonce, I mean she’s ok. I also like U2. Beethoven is ok, I don’t go out of my way to listen to it. This is just an example of how NOT to interpret data, how easy it is to overinterpret things. I promise you on my life listening to different music based on this chart will not make you smarter or dumber.
Correlation isn’t causation. No worries.
But what if you do not listen any of this music shown on the chart?Out of the musicians in the chart, I like Disturbed, System of a Down, Eminem, Rage against the mashine, Radiohead and Red hot chilly peppers. I used to listen To Evanesence (kinda hate them now),Green day,Linkin park and Breaking Benjamin. When it comes to the rest, I either a)know a song or two b)know them only by name or c) have never even heard of them/him/her. So, if one has never even heard of Sufjan Stevens os Switchfoot, does that make him/her smart or dumb?
Eminem is on there
I listen to fall out boy and I am one of the smarter kids in my grade
Jazz – I can totally see this as true. Jazz has complex rhythms, yes, but that doesnt translate into an intelligent audience. Jazz folks are generally not very bright, although they like to think so. I think they are one of the biggest victims of confirmation bias.
Rush needs to be on there. Im sure its very high.
What about concerning instrumental film scores? Those are really all I listen to, a shame it’s not included on this graph.
lol what is this? 1100 as an average SAT? 1100 is ABYSMAL you cant get into college with anything below a 1200 as far as I know. I got a 1840 on my first try and honestly it wasnt that hard. I’m not a good student and I didnt like try hard for the SAT, my essay even went over why standardized testing was dumb and I still got an 1840. Also, wtf? tool fans with an average SAT score that low? and jazz? that makes no sense. the only people that would even list jazz would be the people that actually studied it in advanced Music classes. not saying you have to be smart to understand music, but you have to be learned and any learned individual would score much higher than that on an SAT. this is stupid.
This seems to be on the 1600 scale that is older.
Great. More garbage science. Since “Prog” (progressive) music is absent from the list, one can assume that it is either below or above the range of SAT scores. With all the cheating that goes on within the testing, how valid is this study? Very few of the poor in society listen to long-hair music. There are also many forms of intelligence. All I can say is that the moron who developed this theory is a poor scientist.
Saw-weeet! I listen to Norah Jones! I can’t believe Switchfoot is a the bottom, tho. The songwriter is inspired by Bob Dylan and they tackle some pretty good subjects in music. They don’t write or sing taboo ish. Oh well
This is stupid, I listen to black veil brides, and I’m a very smart person, because I got a good education, not because of the music I listen to, I’m sure music has no effect in this at all
Nailed it, woman.
I don’t think that there is such thing as music wich makes you smart,I believe that music some kinds of music can make you dumb(like heavy metal and hard rock)and some others just do not make you neither smarter nor dumber(like rap,betoven and techno)and here are 3 reasons the most kinds of music can make you dumb:
5)collectors:just try to persuade a music fan that you have the lipstick of some celebrity and they can pay you a lots of moneys for this garbage
4)music promotes creepy dressing/painting:seriously,there are a lots of singers out there wich you can’t easily say if they are guys or women
3)crimes:in the past there where crimes because of rock music
2)drugs:let me tell you a story,in the past there was someone wich created a medicin wich cured some disease(I don’t remember neither the name of the desease nor the name of the medicine),later a siinger made a song about this medice his stupid fans started using the medicine withought being sick they end up addicted to it and the medicine was concidered a drug and became illegal.
1)it makes you think that whatever you say makes sense:
for example whenever I post a comment saying”this singer sucks/is overated”there is always at least one idiot wich says”so you think he sucks,eeeh?why don’t you upload a video to see if you sound better?” seriously with that logic I need to know how to cook before I go to a restorant and start saying that the food there is not eatable,and also saying this is like they are saying”so you think this movie/anime/video game sucks eeh?why don’t you make your own movie/anime/video game to see if you can do it better?”
also something else I need to make clear is that music is a form of art and the most if not all forms of art can make you stupid(for example artists actually believe that minimalism is a great form of art or that picaso had talent or that naked art is not porno).
Thats kinda weird to say because if there is music tht can make you stupid, then surely there is music that makes you just the opposite.
This thing… Why is my chemical romance so low???? Mcr is freaking awesome now I’m sad… Is it lying?
I have read the helping phriendly book, and know all the inherent knowledge of the universe and got a 1200 or something. The SATs are a good tool for measuring ones intelligence…said no one ever. Interesting though, how some bands have wide range of test scores (Outkast, System of a Down, the Dead, John Legend, Nas). And having been to many Phish shows, there are definitely a lot of intellectuals as well as complete morons. Compared to Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sublime, or even the Beatles, a very small range of test scores. These results obviously raise some red flags. And yes, my kids are old enough to read Icculus.
Ok first of all there’s quite a few genres missing from this chart especially when it comes to EDM, Rock, and Metal. Industrial, Techno, D&B, Grunge, Hardcore, Black Metal, Death Metal, Symphonic Metal, Celtic Metal, Progressive Metal, etc. Most if not all of these bands are mainstream. Most of the music that is underground and is exceptionally good or most of your solo virtuoso artists like Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Scott Mishoe, etc. don’t get radio play so the moron who made this chart completely discredited them either that or they are way off to the right because they really are in a league of their own like Dream Theater. Apparently this guy is pretty “dumb” because he couldn’t find the space bar when creating the title for this ridiculous chart. Personally I would have used the term less intelligent since the word dumb actually means lacking the ability to speak. Coming from an actual musician, this is complete bullshit and this guy should think before doing anything in life really. This guy is apparently a grad student. What do you get when you send an idiot to college? An educated idiot. No matter how hard people try you just can’t fix stupid.
It was based on the most popular acts on Facebook pages for each college. A lot of genres that are more extreme or experimental are not as popular as pop acts.
Honestly, I believe this is not at all accurate. I think this needs to show more data to be more legit. I don’t think that they music you listen to makes you smarter or dumber. I do think that those with low scores probably spent too much time listening to Lil’ Wayne instead of hitting the books.
Drat! I should have listened to Beethoven, and not AC/DC when I was in high school- then perhaps I could have scored higher than 1800!
I find this hard to believe. I’d like to see some follow-up studies on this. I know of two people that completely violate this theory. Myself, and a friend of mine. I have an IQ of 143 and my SAT score was a 2210. I don’t know my friend’s IQ but her SAT score was even higher, at 2340. These scores are of course the newest version of the SAT, seeing as how we are both going into senior year of high school next year (we both took it a year early last fall). While she prefers country, I know that she likes just about every type of music. Me? I LOVE hip hop, rap, r&b, heavy metal, hard rock, and just about everything else out there. I kind’ve like classical as well, but I rarely listen to it and it’s hardly one of my favorites. Now I know this is just anecdotal evidence, but I still call [bs] on this study.
I also apologize if I sounded conceited in that post. If I did, it was unintentional. (I’ve been told that it’s sometimes considered rude to bring up SAT scores if you did well, so my b. Just thought it was relevant to my point).
The statistical chart is accurate, you’re just color blind.
green day is jazz? da fuq ?
First of all, intelligence is determined mostly by genetics, music taste is determined basically by personality, so I’m not really sure if there’s enough relation between the two to make a valid conclusion. Second, I scored a 1670 on my SATs and I listen to rap music. So stick that in your statistics! oh wait, the scale doesn’t got that high! Bing! Bang! Boom! I win.
i love how there’s all these different bands. and then techno is put into one little box -_-. you can’t put david guetta listeners in with listeners of armin, tiesto, aly and fila, ABOVE AND BEYOND?
this is purely about social class.
social class = predictor for interest in academics
social class = determinant of exposure to type of music
sat =/= predictor for success in life
ps. i never had to take an sat. if i did i’d have to score terribly because i used to listen to lil wayne, t.i. and beyonce.
Looking through the comment section I expected this typical dribble. People complain about this chart being created by misinterpretation when they cant even interpret it correctly themselves. If these results surprise then you’re either not paying attention or you have big prejudices. I personally listen to all types of music with the exception of much of those in the bottom and few of those in the middle. My mother was a music teacher and I probably got my sophisticated ear from her. I listen to music practically every day for several hours and over the years my interests were vast. It is very clear to me that to recognize the complexity and emotion in music you need certain parts of your brain to be developed. Whether this directly correlates with parts of the brain that deal with logical reasoning and calculations is very very unlikely, but there definitely are indirect relationships. Classical music for instance relaxes your mind and gives positive emotions which allows learning to happen easier. Furthermore clearly people who are more intellectually inclined are much more likely to listen to music of depth and sophistication rather than music of the likes of rap and pop. I think the relationships are extremely clear. People here are talking about IQ for reasons I do not. IQ is a single number meant to (poorly) describe the quality of many different parts of your brain.
Sorry but this doesn’t fit with me.. I listen to Almost ALL music styles. Ok, i gotta admit that i listen owl city and classic music. But green day and sum 41 also fit in my alley. And by the way study also shows that most of the intelligent people listen to music like metal or music that doesn’t get listen to often. I listen to metal when i’m bored but that doesn’t make me some violent men that’s gonna destroy everything to the ground. I’m actually pretty much against unnessacery violent. It’s only a experiment but that doesn’t mean that it applies to all kind of students.
He would have been a lot better than the shins..
I’m A little disappointed that Jack White wasn’t on this list, because it would have been one of the highest scores
I think that that music does effect test scores, because if I listened to Beethoven will aspire to try to be kind of like him.
And same for the people that listen to lil Wayne, and all of you guys are right in someways and this is just my opinion on this. but If you listened to lil Wayne you would be more likely to have a more “reckless”? life style then someone that would listen to classical or Beethoven, and your life style would affect what and how you do things. Like study habits, people who listen to Beethoven are more likely going to study, people who listen to lil Wayne are not likely going to study as much. Now I could be wrong & I might be? But, what I’ve said makes sense to me.
This is very interesting, but I can’t seem to find such bands as Slipknot, Rise Against which is really popular… Also is metalcore smart? I started listening to metalcore recently.
The Doors at 900-1000 on the chart?
The lead singer, Jim Morrison, had an IQ of 147 and his lyrics/poetry is widely known as highly intelligent. That kinda blew it for me. Maybe this was tested on Americans only, which would explain my wondering
His lyrics were pretty simple.
B**** please! I had a 720 in CR and 760 in Math and I listen to, play, perform, compose classic rock nearly all the time…
I believe there is a stronger connection between music preference and upbringing/environment, which in turn can affect education and how you do on the SAT. I consider myself quite intelligent, yet I listen to Christian metal. Both Christian music and metal fall directly in the middle of the chart. While I have no particular dislike for classic, I certainly wouldn’t freely listen to it, especially if I had other options. I have friends who listen almost solely to rap, yet they are quite intelligent. I also have a friend who listens to and writes classical music, who is very smart(He’s the only person I know to listen to classical). Perhaps proficiency in and complexity of music preference can be factors, but I really don’t know.
I listen to Lil wayne and eminem so my sat score should be between 876 and 1036. yet my score was 1300 so get off me.
It’s the average.
I completely agree with the study. While there are some exceptions, people who typically listen to garbage music that contains no intellectual stimulation (ex. Lil’ Wayne, basically all rap music, today’s pop music) are generally less intelligent and successful. I grew up listening to classical music, movie scores, folk, blues, jazz, classic rock, and good indie music. I limited rap music to a minimum. I ended up doing very well in high school, the SAT’s, and graduated from UCLA.
There are exceptions, but generally if you listen to brainless, ghetto music, you end up mirroring the same brainless garbage that is spewed out of the artists’ mouth.
I listen to lil wayne and I never study , but I got a 1660,
I am fairly certain the table above is only accounting for the reading and math portion, so make sure your excluding your writing portion whilst bragging.
This experiment, though interesting has quite a few flaws. Being a MENSA member with a PH.D in psychology I do not see the SAT as a great way of gauging one’s intellect.
I had a 1760 on my SATs and I listen to everything on there but the rap. So, you can’t make this chart and have individual bands as well as genres. There has to be either a genre OR band chart, not both. Also, there are different other variables such as upbringing, schooling, financial status, etc.
There is no solid judgement in this study. There may be correlations, but they may or may not be related.
The scores on that chart are based on the 1600 SAT scale and not the 2400. So your score on the 1600 scale would be your Critical Reading + Math. Or, if you don’t know them just divide 1760 by 3 and multiply by two. So you get about 1170 on this chart. But you’re right, this chart still seems like bs. I got a 2210 and I listen to rap all the time. But I love all music.
WOW……Well I guess as a musician I’m smart and dumb at the same time according to this chart, only for the fact that I listen to all music styles from Classical to Hip Hop music. Anyone else care to weigh in on this senseless article!
So I can only speak form personal experience. I used to listen to a lot of metal and rap my freshman year of college. After stumbling on to an article about the “mozart effect” I decided to try it out for myself and see if it makes any difference. After reluctantly forcing myself to listen to Mozart, Beethoven and Vivaldi for almost a year, no joke a year. I can honestly say my ability to focus improved exponentially. I can do calc for two, three hours at a time and not get distracted or bored. Not to say they there aren’t other variables but I personally feel much more focused on days that I do not listen to rap then on days that I do.
I understand arguments about this being a causation fallacy but I also think a lot of people, not all but a lot, that argue against this theory are simply attached to their music so much that the idea of their source of pleasure making them less intelligent is appalling.
If someone told me when I was a freshman that listening to my music made me have worse grades. I would’ve been like [removed], you don’t know what your talking.
Also proof by my grammar I’m not intelligent by any stretch of the imagination.
What the [removed] is this for nonsense…
The goal of this ‘research’ was to investigate some kind of a correlation between the music choice of people and their intelligence, but the outcome is that he doesn’t know… I would say: go on until you know. Research is not some course on how to make a stupid graph…
And for the next time: take some real metal bands, ffs!
Why the [removed] is classical music correlated with a low SAT score? I smell BS.
Hmmm…I’m sure this has already been said but:
1. Does anyone else find it strange that genres of music score quite low but exponents of that specific genre relate to persons with higher scores? E.g. Reggae is low but Bob Marley (definitively Reggae) is 200 points higher, same for Jazz and Nora Jones…pop and most of the bands here…etc….maybe I’m just reading this incorrectly…
2. SAT score is educational level not IQ.
3. I’m not a statistician, but even I know that anything can be proven to be a cause of something else, because in some way everything is related (simple e.g. – 6 degrees of separation). It’s the level of significance of the interaction that’s important…remember your Bell curve (the Gaussian function, not the book) and critical p-value.
4. Funnier still is the fact that many artists with the same producers and very similar sounds are pretty far apart on the chart.
5. It would be intriguing to figure out what this is really saying though! It could mean so many things…
Is it possible that genres and bands scoring similarly have simlar rhythmic or melodic content; Could certain types of sounds, rhythms, melodic ranges etc act on or even resonate in different areas of the brain?…
I find it interesting that more rhythmically complex music consistently seem to be related to lower scores, while more melodically complex music relate to higher scoring individuals…it brings to mind the most basic idea, that ethnic musics tend to be percussively superior while european musics tend to be superior melodically. Again…this raises the more disturbing possibility that this table could be displaying more of a measure of educational attainment among the races…
However, there also seems to be an age-related element, more recent musicians seem to be related to generally middle to lower scores, while older groups seem to be related to middle to higher scores. Does that mean that far from being ‘dumbed-down’ the SATs may actually be getting harder, OR could it be true that we are all marginally less well educated than our parents…what does that say for the school system?
ALL OF THESE ARE POSSIBLE CAUSATIVE FACTORS THAT CAN BE DERIVED FROM THIS TABLE. BUT ONLY FURTHER RESEARCH CAN DETERMINE WHETHER THEY BEAR ANY SEMBLENCE OF DIRECT RELATION TO THE FACTORS THAT WERE MEASURED.
I hope my point is clear.
By the way…I’m a black, Christian and musician, who listens mainly to soca (and calypso), reggae, classical music, jazz, gospel and quite like Justin Timberlake.
My musical taste ranges from underground rap to Bach, and my SAT score was in the top 20% of my class… now what?
I find this chart quite accurate for the fact that the human mind can easily be influenced by what’s absorbed through our senses and in this case, we’re specifically talking about the ability to hear. Hearing comes with the option of listening and whether we know it or not, we’re always interpreting and absorbing information that influences our day-to-day actions. I feel that Lil Wayne fans have the lowest score because of the information he delivers. Now not to diss him as a person because he is a highly goal-oriented guy and very passionate but at the same time, being a heavily mainstream artist, he’s focused on sales and majority of the population in the U.S. aren’t geniuses. So with that being said, people are buying more of what they enjoy absorbing. Everyone who’s favorite artist is low on the SAT scores doesn’t mean that they are “dumb” but in my opinion, it matters how much music is a concern in your life. Since music has been a major influence in my life, I feel that I should be more considerate of what I listen to if I want to achieve more through knowledge. Anyway, I’m just talking & over here listening to beethoven which probably caused me to write this long comment in which I never comment on posts. It feels nice to add input but hopefully no one takes my opinion of this chart to heart and if so, oh well, lol. Take care!
Jazz below Country Music????
HAA HAA HAAA!
LOL @ this white mediocre pseudo scientific test.
Music, of course, does not make people smarter.
People, of course, should not be judged at all basing on what they listen too.
But i believe music that talks about slapping hoes, getting money, party everyday, not caring of the world, and not caring of domestic unity is simply oblivious, blind, and injudicious. Of course, its just my opinion.
I believe that its the peoples choice to what music they choose to listen too. It should not be judged. My opinion: The way someone feels or the persons emotions causes on what music they listen and adapt too. Also music is poetry, lets not forget that. Listening to music is listening to literature. Music THESE DAYS are so dumb down. Many people today pay attention to what their listening too, and that is highly wise. Others don’t. I believe A person who simply listens to a song and accepts it with out taking a second look at the lyrics is also highly unwise.
Ask your self,” Is this music speaking of reality or illusion?” Wiseness is not the magnitude of intlligence. Wiseness is meditating and making the best decision you are capable of.
I encourage anybody to do research on how music affects the mind. You just might be surprised on the findings you make.
This is not surprising.
One would really have to have a low intelligence to be able to listen to the garbage that Lil Wayne, 50-cent, Kanye West and the likes spew out.
I will admit that back in my highschool days i liked 50-cent, Eminem etc.. but as people age and mature (or at least should), they should develop more refined tastes.
Similar to how people prefer different fashion senses. Highschool i wore baggy pants and shirts, while in university i adopted form fitting, flattering clothes 😉
So…. L.Beethoven and classical music is apart from each other? Wow.
This chart is funny. I think its the perspective of the listener before he takes a test.. not the perspective of the musician grabbing the emotion. People commenting seem like their “musicians.” If you studied Beethoven scores or any musical scores.. art is art and yes Beethoven had traditional approach down. You cant post this fucking chart without explaining why you posted it. I believe the guy who did this is a fucking moron and a pretentious nuero-scientist who listens to Beethoven and masterbates his craft with pointless experiment such as this.. nice contribution..
Art is art.. this is also sort of racist
I believe jazz is such an insane art form of music now.. go listen to Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra or some vintage John Coltrane (Equinox).. and tell me that’s not equivalent or more emotional and enlightening than Mr. Beethoven