New York University researchers have been checking out what psychopaths like to blast through their speakers, and their music taste may surprise you.
Horror films would have us believe psychopaths listen solely to classical music, perhaps while washing down a human liver with a nice bottle of Chianti.
And The Man laid the blame of the Columbine school shootings on Marilyn Manson.
However, psychopaths would actually rather pump out a bit of hip hop, with Eminen’s Lose Yourself and Backstreet’s No Diggity being particular favourites.
The study involved taking 200 participants who had listened to 260 songs.
Through a series of musical questionnaires and psychological profiling tests, researchers were able to identify and categorise the sort of music enjoyed by psychopaths.
Interestingly, those with high levels of empathy – i.e. non-psychopaths – showed a liking for more chilled out music such as R&B and soft rock.
Speaking with The Guardian, lead author Pascal Wallisch noted how psychopaths can be deceptively difficult to identify:
The media portrays psychopaths as axe murderers and serial killers, but the reality is they are not obvious; they are not like The Joker in Batman.
They might be working right next to you, and they blend in. They are like psychological dark matter.
And if that didn’t give you chills, nothing will…
You don’t want to have these people in positions where they can cause a lot of harm.
We need a tool to identify them without their cooperation or consent.
By the way, this study also showed how fans of The Knack’s My Sharona and David Guetta’s Titanium were the least psychopathic of the bunch.
So give yourself an enormous pat on the back if you’ve ever shout-sung along to either of these bangers on a night out, you lovely non-psychopath!
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.