The Musical Preference Linked To High IQ

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People use this music to
‘purge’ their negativity.
Liking heavy metal music is a
sign of high intelligence, research suggests.
Some people may use heavy
metal music as a way of coping with being talented.
Being a ‘metalhead’ is
sometimes associated with poor performance and delinquency, but this survey
found otherwise.
More intelligent people may
find themselves outsiders and use heavy metal music to deal with the stress.
Dr Stuart Cadwallader, the
study’s author, says there is a stereotype that more intelligent people are
into classical music.
While this is true for some,
others take solace in heavy metal.
Dr Cadwallader said that young
people enjoy the complex and sometimes political themes in metal that are not
explored in mainstream pop music.
Both alienation and being
separate from society may chime with some gifted people.
The results come from a survey
of 1,057 members of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth in the
This body represents young
people aged 11-18 who are in the top 5 per cent academically.
The results showed that while
rock was the most popular genre among talented youngsters, one-third rated
heavy metal in their top five genres and 6 per cent gave it top spot.
Those who particularly liked
heavy metal also tended to have lower self-esteem.
Genres traditionally linked to
intelligence — classical music and jazz — were the least popular.
Some young people said they
liked to literally ‘jump out’ their frustrations and anger to heavy metal.

Dr Cadwallader said:
“Perhaps the pressures
associated with being gifted and talented can be temporarily forgotten with the
aid of music. 
As one student suggests,
perhaps gifted people may experience more pressure than their peers and they
use the music to purge this negativity.”
The study was published by the
National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (Cadwaller, 2007).

Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.