Musical Abilities

Dr. Linda Houser-Marko presented a poster about a recent study of hers at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science in May 2014.

For the study, scores on three tests from the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation test battery (Pitch Discrimination, Tonal Memory, and Rhythm Memory) were compared to cognitive abilities, as well as to experience in music-related fields.

A few notable findings:

  • Only 12% of our sample scored high on all three musical ability tests.
  • Professional musicians and music majors both score about equally high on all three of the musical tests.
  • The tests were significantly correlated with numerical, spatial, and verbal ability.
  • Other occupations which had high auditory aptitude scores were: writers, medical doctors, artists, architects, professors, and computer scientists.

To read more about this fascinating study, you can see the poster Dr. Houser-Marko presented here.