Medical Mysteries of Music

Science Says If You Prefer Listening to Rap, You’re More Likely to be a Psychopath

Can a person’s musical preferences be used to predict psychopathic disorders? Maybe, if this new study can be believed.

Boffins at New York University wanted to know if a person’s taste in music can be correlated with psychopathic tendencies. Two hundred people were played 260 songs and then took a variety of tests to assess their psychopathic-ness. The results seem to show that the test subjects with the highest psychopathic scores were also the biggest fans of rap and hip hop, especially Eminem (“Lose Yourself” was a favourite) and Blackstreet (“No Diggity” resonated).

What about at the other end of the scale? Those with low psycho scores preferred pop songs such as “Titanium” by Sia and The Knack’s “My Sharona.”

The study has yet to be published but the researchers say these preliminary results could be enough to get them enough grant money to look at things further. Could playlists be used to diagnose potential psychopaths? Maybe.

Further details can be found here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37808 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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