Your Taste in Music Might Reveal How Dumb (or Smart) You Are

Virgil Griffith, a student at Caltech, embarked on a most interesting project to seek whether there’s any connection between the music you enjoy and, uhm, your intellectual abilities.  Griffith used aggregated Facebook data about the favorite bands among students of various colleges and plotted them against the average SAT scores at those schools. This allowed him to make a very rough connection between musical taste and intelligence.

The favorite musician of the smartest students was Beethoven, with an average SAT score of 1371. Also on the “smart” end of the scale were Sufjan Stevens (1260), Counting Crows (1247), and Radiohead (1220). At the other end of the spectrum, artists like Lil Wayne (889) dominate the “dumb” side.

Griffith says he came up with the idea to highlight how two separate sets of data can sometimes come together and actually tell a story.

“Their unity is hilarity incarnate. This is to inspire people to think creatively about the data sets that are on the Internet.”

“Of course there is the whole correlation is not causation thing, but, I mean, duh,” he added.

Check out the graph below. Prepare to grind your teeth and send hate mail to your friends to ruin their day. By all means, however, try not to take this personal. Correlation does not equal causation.


This entry was posted in Feature Post, Other, Psychology and tagged , on by .

About Andrew Kays

I find that many people, both peers and American society in general, think science is some combination of boring, wrong and useless. On the contrary, I find it to be a resplendent mosaic of perspectives, environments and people producing amazing things. Many of those people are producing the future at an accelerating rate, and every day our society’s dependence on science increases. My goal is to emphasize the beauty of science, expose it to and attract future scientists and clear up common misconceptions in the public forum. In the meantime, I want to make you a more scientifically-informed citizen and show you how incredible our world is with a little knowledge about science. I'm studying journalism and anthropology and am an avid runner and outdoorsman. History, genetics and scientific art are a few of my ever-expanding favorite subjects. Contact me with any questions or general musings!

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