Sunday, 15 March 2009

Can music make you dumb? Or smart?

According to recent research by Ph.D student Virgil GRiffith, who is also the founder of a data-mining tool called WikiScanner, musical tastes can tell a lot about intelligence. He matched average SAT Scores using Network Statistics page on Facebook and 133 most popular entries for "favorite music" on facebook.

According to this, the dumbest students are listening to Lil Wayne, Beyonce and T.I., while the smartest were fans of Beethoven. Ironically, listening to gospel and jazz doesn't make you any smarter either. Something doesn't seem right to me. When I studied at Russian Music Academy, some of the students who had the highest scores in reality, couldn't produce any original idea, were absolutely non-creative and useless when it came to applying their knowledge in practice. Furthermore, when I was offering to promote an event or do something related to qualification we were going to get in real life, they refused saying "I'm concentrating on reading books and getting for the exams now, I'll start working when I graduate". Some of them, after graduation got jobs in totally different areas anyway. I noticed the same thing when I was at school. Sometimes all that the scores can say about you, is that you are eager to please those who are on a higher position than you and have some sort of influence on part of your life, so once you've graduated with the highest results, when you get a job you will be basically doing the same to please your boss. On another hand, remember Alex from "Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess? Angry teenager, leading his gang on violence and orgies every night, while being a huge listener of Beethoven. That's not just a fiction character, I've seen people like that in real life, it's not rare in Russia. Also, what about music maniacs like me, who just listen to literally everything, from Ne-Yo and Bob Marley to Mozart and Nina Simone? Well, I can play "Fur Elise" by Beethoven on piano too :) What about people who are curious just about everything with a mind set "if it's there, I got to check this out" and figure out, what makes other people like it. Music is a form of expression, different vibrations and moods, I don't think this graph is fair, in the end of the day it seems to only take a brief look at college students in USA, but cultural aspect does make significant impacet too, in other countries you might find people tastes totally upside down, partly because particular type of music is preferred and made popular there.

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