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Science Says That Psychopaths Really Dig Eminem's "Lose Yourself"

According to an NYU study, if you like Justin Bieber you might be a serial killer but if you like Dire Straits, then you're not.

As evidenced by the Netflix series Mindhunter, North America is still not done being fascinated by psychopaths. In other media, they've been associated with listening to either classical music or the Beatles, but a few New York University researchers say that potential serial killers may skew towards slightly more modern tastes. According to the Washington Post, NYU psychology professor Pascal Wallisch and alumnus Nicole Leal interviewed 190 students at the school, and by cross-referencing a questionnaire that rated their "level of psychopathy" with a wide selection of music, determined that the song most popular with psychopaths is Eminem's "Lose Yourself."


Also scoring high with maybe-psychopathic students were Blackstreet's "No Diggity" and Justin Bieber's "What Do You Mean." Basically, it looks like American Psycho may have got it right in depicting serial killers as being into extremely ordinary, crowd-pleasing pop artists like Phil Collins instead of Wagner or some shit. The songs with the lowest correlation to psychopathic behaviour were "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits and The Knack's "My Sharona," which doesn't make sense because the latter track, while a slapper, is definitely about an adult man relentlessly pursuing a teenage girl. The 70s were nuts, friends.

Now, this NYU study obviously contains a lot of caveats. 190 isn't a huge number, and it's reasonable to assume even the most "psychopathic" students who were interviewed aren't literally Jeffrey Dahmer. The correlation between listening to Eminem and being a serial killer in-waiting is a loose one at best, so you can take these results with a handful of salt. Still, Em definitely once recorded a "song" that was essentially a one-act play about kidnapping and murdering the mother of his daughter so maybe there's something there after all. Or not. You can read the entire WaPo story about the study here.

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