If there seems to be an air of pretension among aficionados of jazz and classical music, psychological research is giving them good reason.

A new study published in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences suggests that those who prefer instrumental music tend to be more intelligent.

Study author Elena Racevska, a PhD student at Oxford Brookes University, became interested in how musical preference is tied to personality traits as she learned about the Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis, which presumes that more intelligent individuals seek more novel experiences compared to less intelligent people.

“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,” says Racevska.

“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.”

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