Link found between intelligence and non-vocal music! RSS

News / 01/07/2019
Link found between intelligence and non-vocal music!

Recent research by Racevska and Tadinac at Oxford Brookes University supports the theory that there is a link between intelligence and enjoying non-vocal music. The link between intelligence and non-vocal music may have its roots in the Savannah Principle, which proposed that intelligent people are more open to novel stimuli than their less-intelligent counterparts. In 2011, a study Why More Intelligent Individuals Like Classical Music was undertaken by the evolutionary psychologist, Satochi Kanazawa who proposed that, because music originated in vocalisations, instrumental music is a more 'novel' stimulus and, for this reason, more intelligent individuals are the ones most likely to be attracted to it.

Racevska and Tadinac decided to test Kanazawa's hypothesis using a different set of predictors: a non-verbal intelligence test, and 'use of music' questionnaires.  The researchers studied 467 high school students and the data measured a number of variables likely to be significant in the relationship between non-vocal music and intelligence, such as the type and duration of extra-curricular music education enjoyed. The results of the study indicated that intelligence might be 'a significant predictor of the preference for instrumental music'.  No similar relationship was found between intelligence and the enjoyment of singing. 

Five personality factors were also identified as correlating with the way in which the students used music, and with their musical preferences: reflective, popular, conservative, intense, and sophisticated. Those who listened to music more cognitively -  that is, in a more analytical way -  especially enjoyed instrumental music. They were also more likely to enjoy reflexive, intense, and sophisticated music than their less intelligent counterparts.

E Rańćevska, M Tadinac: 'Intelligence, Music Preferences, and Uses of Music From the Perspective of Evolutionary Psychology', in Evolutionary Behavioral Science 2018.

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