They say that our taste in music can reveal a lot about our personalities, but could it also indicate a mental disorder?
According to researchers at New York University, there’s a good chance it could. Looking to find a way to identify psychopaths, they used song preference as a possible indicator, believing it could help predict the disorder that affects about one percent of the general population and about one in five prison inmates.
It’s long been assumed that psychopaths prefer listening to classical music like the fictional cannibal, Hannibal Lecter.
Or, in Patrick Bateman’s case, Phil Collins, Huey Lewis and the News, and even Whitney Houston. However, research from Channel 4 in the U.K. has shown that people who score high on psychopath tests prefer rap and heavy metal the most.
In part, New York University’s study backed that up. Studying 200 people and 260 songs, the researchers found that those who scored higher on psychopath tests were more likely to be fans of “No Diggity”…
…and “Lose Yourself” by Eminem. The researchers say that other songs were better predictors of psychopathy, but they didn’t name them, as they intend to do further research on the subject.
Fans of songs like “My Sharona” by The Knacks and “Titanium” by Sia scored lowest on psychopath tests.
“The beauty of this idea is you can use it as a screening test without consent, cooperation or maybe even the knowledge of the people involved,” Pascal Wallisch, the lead researcher, told The Guardian. “The ethics of this are very hairy, but so is having a psychopath as a boss, and so is having a psychopath in any position of power.”
Of course, it’s important to mention that liking any of these songs doesn’t automatically make you a psychopath. The researchers say they need conduct a larger study with further testing. If you’re interesting in taking a psychopathy test yourself, click here.
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