A new study links music preferences to psychopathy.
Pascal Wallisch, a clinical assistant professor of psychology at NYU, is researching a potential method for screening psychopaths. Wallisch trusts that there might be an association amongst psychopathy and certain songs.
Amongst 260 tracks — singles that go back to the 1940s that were picked in light of the fact that they’re very memorable — 30 of them were prescient of psychopathy. This implies that the general population who truly appreciated those 30 tunes — including Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” — were also named psychopaths on the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale, a self-given test of psychopathy.
Essentially, the study intends to link psychopathy to certain songs as a measure to screen psychopaths. Sounds great, except that people can love specific songs while being completely sane too! Researcher Pascal Wallisch isn’t sure what draws psychopaths to certain songs but is currently in the process of understanding what it is. It could be a psychopath’s need for stimulation (a preference for beat-heavy songs) but researchers are not sure yet.
Out of all the methods there are to figure out if someone is a psychopath, music preferences seem like an unlikely place to start. Being crazy for music and being literally crazy is not the same thing! Scientists, we hope you’re reading this!