Let’s be honest here. We all have our theories, no doubt based on our own preferences, of how a person’s intelligence correlates with their taste in music. Now, thanks to a software application writer named Virgil Griffith, there’s a handy chart that does all the pesky mathematics for you.
As reported by Consequence of Sound, Griffith’s project maps the musical tastes of American college students set against their intelligences levels, as determined by their SAT, or college admissions test, scores.
Griffith arrived at his conclusions by taking the average SAT scores of students at various US colleges and cross referenced those with Facebook stats of the most popular or “liked” musicians amongst those students. Put that info on a graph and presto, you discover that “smart people” listen to Radiohead. And really smart people like Beethoven.
Griffith’s chart also reveals that said smarties also enjoy the smooth vocal stylings of Sufjan Stevens, Bob Dylan, Ben Folds, U2 and, interestingly, Counting Crows. On the lower end of the scale, or as Griffith coins it the “dumbitude” indicator, we find music by Lil Wayne, Beyoncé, T.I, The Used and, surprisingly, jazz.
Dig a little deeper into the graph and you see by Griffith’s estimations that smart people prefer The Shins, David Bowie and Muse over The Doors, Metallica or Foo Fighters and that the intellectual middle ground is populated by fans of Green Day, Tool, Oasis, System of a Down, Kanye West and Pearl Jam.
For his part, Griffith is very aware of the scepticism surrounding his methodology, conceding that he knows very well that correlation does not equal causation. “The results are hilarity incarnate regardless of causality,” he writes. “You can stop sending me email about this distinction. Thanks.”
Check out the graph below and head to Virgil Griffith’s website for further details on just how dumb, or smart, you actually are.