Nov 13, 2017

The music psychopaths listen to

Eminem on stage at the Coachella Music Festival in 2012. Photo: Chris Pizzello / AP

Psychopaths may not prefer classical music, despite movie stereotypes of villains listening to Beethoven and Mozart, The Washington Post's Amy Ellis Nutt reports. NYU researchers found that Billboard 100 hits like Eminem's "Lose Yourself" and Justin Bieber's "What Do You Mean?" were preferred among students in a study who scored high on a questionnaire rating someone's level of psychopathy.

Why it matters: Determining the aesthetic preferences of psychopaths may help us to identify them. "We have looked at the cognition and emotion of psychopaths, and there are marked differences relative to the general population. But how about their aesthetic judgment? Do they live in a different subjective world? ... No one has looked. So we did," lead researcher Pascal Wallisch told Axios.

Yes, but: "The study hasn't been published in a peer-reviewed journal, and like all early studies may not hold up, but it was presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting that is being held in Washington this week with about 30,000 attendees," writes Nutt.

Go deeper