Like These Songs? You Might Be a Psychopath

Small study finds possible link between 30 songs and psychopathy
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2017 3:37 PM CDT

In news certain to start a whole new round of arguments at record stores (were record stores still a thing), researchers at New York University say the songs you like could give you away as a psychopath, the Guardian reports. Researchers had 200 people already scored on the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale listen to 260 songs. According to the New York Daily News, some of the songs were released as early as the 1940s and all were picked for being very recognizable. Researchers found enjoyment of 30 of the songs, including "Lose Yourself" by Eminem and "No Diggity" by Blackstreet*, was predictive of psychopathy. Alternately, "Titanium" by Sia and "My Sharona" by the Knack were among the songs that were completely useless in rooting out a psychopath.

Lead researcher Pascal Wallisch refused to name the other songs used in the study for fear of tainting future research. But while some media outlets are reporting the findings as a condemnation of rap or R&B, Wallisch says that's not the case. "This study has nothing to do with rap music," he says. "It's more song-specific and not genre-specific." However, he's not sure what it is about certain songs that seem to attract psychopaths. "It may be the stimulation in the song. We don't know," he tells Newsweek. Wallisch also warns against taking the results too seriously yet. It was a small, unpublished study and much more research is needed before definite conclusions can be drawn.

*Ed. Note: Are there people who don't like "No Diggity"? (Read more psychopath stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.