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New Study Suggests More Intelligent People Usually Prefer Instrumental Music

Vocals are for idiots. Sorry, everyone, but them's the facts.

Vocals are for idiots. Sorry, everyone, but them's the facts.

Are you a fan of bands like Animals As Leaders and Pelican? Have you ever felt like maybe you were smarter than the average bear? Well, a new study performed by Elena Račevska and Meri Tadinac titled "Intelligence, Music Preferences, and Uses of Music From the Perspective of Evolutionary Psychology" might prove you right.

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The duo's study took 467 Croatian high school students and found that higher intelligence test scores were generally obtained by those who enjoyed instrumental music. Here's how author Račevska explained the study in an interview with Psypost.

“I first became interested in this topic while working on a project looking into the relationship between personality traits and musical preferences. At the time, I was studying evolutionary psychology and became familiar with Satoshi Kanazawa’s Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis."

"After reading Kanazawa’s papers, one of which was on the relationship between intelligence and musical preferences, we decided to further test his hypothesis using a different set of predictors — namely, a different type of intelligence test (i.e. a nonverbal measure), and the uses of music questionnaire. We also measured a number of variables likely to have an effect in this relationship, such as taking part in extra-curricular music education, its type and duration."

"From the perspective of evolutionary psychology, intelligence can only predict differences in the preference for instrumental music. Individuals with higher intelligence test scores are more likely to prefer predominantly instrumental music styles, but there are no differences in the preference for predominantly vocal or vocal-instrumental music that can be predicted with intelligence test scores"

Račevska points out that musical taste is really only one factor in how the students scored. She said in the future, she'd like to untangle the relationship between the enjoyment of instrumental music and intelligence, how tastes change over time, and "how they interact with numerous social and personal variables."

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Read the study here.

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