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The Link Between Intelligence and Musical Preference

I'm a bit wary with making correlations between intelligence and some other variable as if to say that people who have no inclination to engage or to participate in a certain activity are less intelligent. 

While this new study suggests that there may be a link between more intelligent individuals and their musical preference, particularly instrumental music, the basis for such is somewhat suspect.

According to researchers, the reason intelligence evolved is so that humans could adapt to new methods, techniques, and other types of innovation. People with a higher IQ prefer to experience the novel. So, they designed this study to parse through different variables of intelligence in relation to musical preferences.

“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,” Racevska told PsyPost.
The researchers also found that participants used different genres of music for different reasons. For example, those who reported using music cognitively, such as finding enjoyment in analyzing compositions or admiring musical technique, tended to be more fond of instrumental music.

Despite these findings, there were some limitations to the research. As I have said, many factors are involved in determining a person's musical preferences. It doesn't necessarily mean that there is causality between these two variables. 

A person's musical preference does not determine their intelligence or vice versa. It only states that there is a tendency for highly intelligent people to prefer certain genres of music.

The study can be found here.

(Image credit: Mohammad Metri/Unsplash)

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