Despite what you may have heard, being a total psychopath apparently has a few benefits. Namely, potential psychopathy may result in more spins of Justin Bieber’s arguably perfect 2015 hit “What Do You Mean.”
As the Washington Post reported without even a hint of levity, New York University researchers recently asked psychology students to fill out a questionnaire that rated their psychopathy level. The presumably fun questionnaire is stacked with lovely quotables like “Love is overrated” and “For me what’s right is whatever I can get away with,” which kinda sound like lyrics anyway.
The students were then asked to peruse a “wide range of musical selections,” spanning vintage classics to more recent Billboard hits. Participants rated each song on a seven-point scale. Using these ratings, researchers looked for correlations between the students’ musical preferences and psychopathy questionnaire results. Researchers also asked other students to spin the tracks with the highest psychopathy scale correlations, creating a new rating.
Bieber’s aforementioned “What Do You Mean,” Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” and Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” were among the tracks with the highest psychopathy scale correlation. Tracks with the lowest correlation included Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing” and the Knack’s still ubiquitous 1979 barn burner “My Sharona.”
Originally, researchers had a hypothesis about psychopaths possibly being fond of songs with no lyrics. The results of the study, presented at this year’s Society for Neuroscience event, strongly suggest that isn’t the case. They also strongly suggest that I’m going to have spaghetti tonight.