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Psychopaths Like Listening to Eminem, Study Shows

Theo Wargo, Getty Images
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

Since the 1999 release of The Slim Shady LP, Eminem has been known for his violent lyrics, and now, a new study shows that a certain group of people tend to favor his music.

New York University psychology professor Pascal Wallisch and recent NYU graduate Nicole Leal set out to find if a preference for certain musical genres correlated with psychopathy, and in their new study, Eminem’s 2002 hit “Lose Yourself” scored high on the psychopath test.

The duo gave a questionnaire to more than 190 NYU psychology students, which rated their levels of psychopathy. Questions included, “For me what’s right is whatever I can get away with” and “Love is overrated.” The students then listened to songs from a variety of genres and decades and rated them on a seven-point scale.

Wallisch and Leal were able to identify about 20 songs that were popular and unpopular based on the listener’s level of psychopathy. They then had other students with the highest correlations to the psychopathy scale listen and rate the songs.

Along with “Lose Yourself,” Wallisch and Leal discovered that Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” and Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?” were popular with students who scored high on the psychopathy scale. Songs such as Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing” and The Knack’s “My Sharona” were on the low end.

According to The Washington Post, the study has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, but was recently presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, D.C.

Last week, Eminem released his first single in two years, “Walk on Water.” Teaming up with Beyoncé, the Detroit rapper fires back at his critics and reflects on his long career on the track.

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