I was never considered a particularly smart kid. I didn’t care much about my school work and was written off by some teachers as a waste of space. But according to a new study about smart kids listening to heavy metal, I was apparently just pretending to be stupid.
A study of more than 1,000 of the brightest five percent of young people found that intelligent teenagers often listen to heavy metal music to cope with the pressures associated with being talented.
Stuart Cadwallader, a psychologist at the University of Warwick, presented recently findings. The research found that, far from being a sign of delinquency and poor academic ability, many adolescent metalheads are super bright and often use the music to help them deal with pressure.
Researchers polled 1,057 members of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth. Asked for their favorite type of music, 39 percent said rock, 18 percent R&B and 14 percent pop. Six percent said metal and a third rated it in their top five genres. Metal fans acknowledged having lower self-esteem and more trouble with family and friendships.
As part of the study, Cadwallader held an online discussion with 19 academy members, 17 of whom were metal fans. They said they listen to bands like System of a Down, Slipknot, Tool, DragonForce, ¡Forward Russia! and In Flames when they’re in a bad mood and use it to vent frustration and anger.
Now, truth be told, I wouldn’t say I was particularly smart as a kid. But I did have talents, including drawing and writing. I also had a ton of trouble relating to my peers and getting along with family. The music absolutely helped me. At the least, it gave me an outlet for my anger that might have otherwise been spent punching people in the face.
I’m always happy to see studies like this, because it shows I’m not alone and never have been.