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Music That Makes You Dumb: New Scientific Study Definitely Answers Age Old Question of Whether Metalheads are Smart or Not


brain_illo_newsToday in useless studies that mean absolutely nothing but are fun to argue about nonetheless: Lambgoat has picked up on this study by Virgil Griffith that seeks to quantify the average intelligence of a band’s fans by comparing their musical tastes to their SAT scores. The study’s methods are by no means definitive — and the study’s author even admits they’re not the most scientifically sound — but it’s a fascinating concept anyway. Here’s how Griffith conducted the study:

  1. Get a friend of yours to download, using Facebook, the ten most frequent “favorite music” at every college via that college’s Network Statistics page on Facebook (manually — as not to violate Facebook’s ToS). These ten “favorite musics” are perhaps indicative of the overall intellectual milieu of that college.
  2. Download the average SAT/ACT score (from CollegeBoard) for students attending every college.
  3. Presto! We have a correlation between musical tastes and dumbitude (smartitude too)!
  4. Plot the average SAT of each “favorite music”, discarding those with too few samples to have a reliable average.
  5. Post the results on your website, pondering what the Internet will think of it.

Yes, I’m aware correlation ≠ causation. The results are hilarity incarnate regardless of causality.
You can stop sending me email about this distinction. Thanks.

Because of the way the study was conducted, not many “metal” bands appear on the chart — and those that do are quite mainstream — but still… what does is say about System of a Down fans that the smartest of them is, on average, smarter than the smartest Tool fan? Are all our years of bellyaching about Disturbed finally justified? Why is Rage Against the Machine in the “rock” category instead of “metal,” and why are their fans the smartest of all???

Read the study here, and view the chart below (click to enlarge):

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