Friday, January 25, 2008

Books That Make You Dumb

OK, I don't like the title of Books That Make You Dumb so much, but that's because I feel that the study also goes to show which books make you smart.

OK, pretensions and condescensions aside, Virgil has compiled a very nice chart, backed by very nice statistical analysis (OK, it wasn't that complicated, but it must have taken a lot of work).... as I was saying, a very nice chart correlating favorite books with people's intelligence, or at least their scholastic aptitude.

He took the top 10 favorite books (as listed on facebook) of 1300 or so universities. He then used the average SAT scores of undergraduates at said universities to give each of the most popular books it's own average SAT score. Actually, he gives us a range, but you get the idea.

He uses this data to present us with three excellent charts - all with the same information; only the grouping is changed.

Two of the charts group books by genre, and here is the only place I quibble with Mr. Virgil (OK, Virgil is his first name, but I like to say it this way). A Tree Grows In Brooklyn is Children's Lit? What particularly makes Brave New World Sci-Fi, but A Clockwork Orange Dystopian? And Wuthering Heights is a classic, but Pride and Prejudice is Chick Lit? Really?

Anyhow, you know of my inability to praise without poking, but really, I love the study, and you should all definitely check it out.

No comments: