Is it being a master of foreign films? An opera obsessive? Or is it having more stamps in your passport than anyone else?
New data from market research group OnePoll reveals the top ‘signs’ a person can be considered ‘cultured’, with visiting the theater, knowing a Banksy from a Van Gogh and relaxing to a bit of classical music the quickest ways to give off an impression of sophistication.
Knowing what wines pair with what foods, taking in a bit of ballet and walking around a few local heritage sights will also set you on your way to a more cultured lifestyle – according to the top 10.
It’s not all high-brow stuff though, simply reading a daily newspaper, hosting the odd dinner party and watching a documentary from time to time will also have people thinking you’re cultured.
The new poll of 2,000 people across the country was commissioned by Vivid Seats and found that 45 percent of those studied describe themselves as cultured, while just over a quarter say they definitely aren’t and 30 percent are unsure.
But an honest 27 percent of Americans admit to FAKING ‘being cultured’ at times- pretending to have done, read or watched something simply to appear more intelligent.
Perhaps that’s because a cultured person should apparently be reading a little over three books per month, according to respondents. Half also believe that being cultured means having expensive taste.
And while seeing theatre plays was voted the activity that a cultured person was most likely to partake in – not are all equal, with respondents considering the Nutcracker to be far more cultural than the Book of Mormon and Broadway beating out Las Vegas in shows.
When it comes to which subjects specifically you should brush up on in an attempt to seem cultured, literature is top of the pile, followed by history and then art.
Two thirds don’t believe preferring vinyl over CDs or digital music does the trick, but more than half think that learning more than one language is something a cultured person would do.
Only 30 percent think being well-traveled is a prerequisite, while 60 percent think it’s perfectly possible to be cultured without having an interest in art.
When looking at various popular activities and their comparative ability to make someone more cultured, seeing the musical Hamilton was considered much more cultured than the Super Bowl, Coachella festival edged out Burning Man, and a Bruce Springsteen concert was considered twice as cultured as seeing Pearl Jam.
“While the definition of cultured doesn’t seem to be something Americans agree on, it’s clear that the average person can tell when an event or activity fits under the label.” says a spokesperson for VividSeats.com.
“Whatever their taste in entertainment, people should follow things because they like them, rather than worry about how it makes them appear to others.
“There’s so much to see and experience and sometimes we like a range of acts – some will be deemed more ‘cultured’ than others but what’s most important is finding something you like and enjoying it.”
And if you aren’t completely sure what the meaning of cultured is, you aren’t alone, 40 percent aren’t totally sure what being ‘cultured’ actually is.
Only one in four people believe they have become more cultured over the last five years and, in fact, one in 10 reckon they have actually become less cultured in that time, with 40 percent claiming a lack of money to pay for cultured endeavors is to blame.
Other reasons include lack of time (28 percent) and a lack of interest in becoming cultured (28 percent).
Also, in an interesting twist, it turns out that half of Americans claim that they are not even interested in becoming more cultured, and only one in three wants to be more cultured than they are currently.
Top Ten Signs Of A Cultured Person
- Attend theater plays
- Easily recognize paintings/art
- Listen to classical music
- Be familiar with wine pairing
- Attend ballets
- Visit local heritage sites
- Host dinner parties
- Regularly watch documentaries
- Watch foreign films with subtitles
- Read daily newspapers
This survey of 2000 US adults was conducted between October 07, 2016 and October 31,2016 by Market Researchers OnePoll and commissioned by Vivid Seats