It may be grossly unscientific, but a single study by a single graduate student relating music preferences to SAT scores has produced results that would seem to confirm what I was thinking all along. Fans of Lil’ Wayne and Beyonce are near the bottom of the spectrum, with average scores below 950. Obviously, anyone nerdy enough to profess their love for Beethoven gets a score near 1400. But one cannot overlook the impressive showing by Sufjan Stevens, whose average fan’s score (~1250) was second only to Beethoven. Of course this means very little, except that Sufjan produces amazing music and there’s little chance of it killing your brain cells. (By the way, where’s the new Sufjan album? I need my fix.)
Most bands fall right in the middle somewhere, but I’m happy to see supporters of Guster, Ben Folds, and The Shins scoring highly. Interestingly, Coldplay and the Red Hot Chili Peppers had very narrow distributions, suggesting that either fewer people liked them or that all their fans are essentially identical academically. And how did David Bowie sneak up there so high?
I’m glad I never took the SAT though; it prevents me from being lumped into studies that reinforce assumptions and stereotyping.
Oh, and there’s a website that probably has more details on how the study was conducted, but I’m far too busy to even glance at it. If someone would like to give me the gist of it, that’d be great.