21/03/2007

Heavy metal fans 'very intelligent', study claims

Liking heavy metal music could be a sign of intelligence in teenagers, a new study has claimed.

The study, by Stuart Cadwallader and Professor Jim Campbell of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth at the University of Warwick, involved a survey of more than 1,000 students aged between 11 and 18.

The students were asked about family, school attitudes, leisure time pursuits and media preferences and they were also asked to rank their favoured genres of music.

The researchers found that rock was the popular form of music, closely followed by pop. However, they found differences between the type of music young people likes and their attitudes, with those who like heavy metal having lower self-esteem and ideas about themselves.

The researchers than quizzed 19 gifted students via an online group to find out their views on heavy metal music.

The pupils said that they did not consider themselves to be 'metalheads', but did identify with specific aspects of this youth culture.

The pupils spoke about using heavy metal music for catharsis, using the loud and often aggressive music to 'jump out' frustrations and anger. Many said that they listened to the music when they were in a bad mood.

Commenting on the study, Mr 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."

(KMcA/JM)


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