After pouring over Spotify for hours and handpicking each song, you know there’s a little bit of you in every special playlist you curate, but a new study suggests your favorite song may be revealing parts of your personality you don’t want people to know. The preliminary results of a study on psychopathy reveals there’s a correlation between music and deviant personality traits. Like leaving toilet paper the wrong way up or squirting ketchup all over your fries instead of in a sensible pile at the side, listening to certain songs could prove you’re a psychopath.
Researchers at the New York University performed the pilot study, in which 200 people were quizzed as they listened to 260 songs. The purpose of their work is to find a link between musical tastes and personality disorders, in the hopes that they can identify these individuals by their playlists alone.
Psychopaths make up about one percent of the population. Despite flamboyant portrayals in horror movies like Silence of the Lambs and American Psycho, the psychopaths in real life are harder to distinguish from your well-adjusted neighbors. If these researchers can prove individual songs act as markers for this deviancy, it can help identify them quickly and easily.
There’s just one problem: according to the preliminary results, psychopaths have great taste.
Since the initial study was approved for greater funding, NYU researchers can’t reveal the full list of songs without risking the legitimacy of future testing — which will involve thousands of volunteers sitting through musical surveys. But they have reported those with the highest scores for psychopathy also happen to be the biggest fans of Blackstreet’s throwback banger, No Diggity.
Excuse us while we rename that song on our iTunes to I’m Definitely a Well-Adjusted Person. We suggest you do the same because, even if you made sure you have an iPhone 8 no one else has with a customized iPhone skin, there’s a high chance No Diggity features on your iPhone playlist just like everyone else. You don’t want to accidentally unlock your phone using Face ID and reveal to the world you’re a psychopath.
It’s unfair treatment for one of the most iconic ‘90s hits we still love. No Diggity, first released in 1996, was an instant hit in the clubs and on the charts. To this day, it’s a common retro addition to iPhone playlist and the dancefloors. Its official video has over 127 million views, and everyone from Chet Faker to Ed Sheeran has covered or remixed it.
It, alongside Eminem’s, Lose Yourself, is one of the few songs the NYU team is willing to name, but they reveal there are other songs that are better at predicting the psychopathic personality than these two examples. In the fever of conspiracy theory thinking, it’s interesting to note that both artists have a connection to Dr. Dre, so maybe this list of psycho favorites includes one of his original songs. But that could just resentment over Dre’s Beats shining through.
On the other end of the spectrum, fans of The Knack’s My Sharona were the least likely to have this personality disorder. Those that scored low on the scale were also fans of Sia’sTitanium.
As for the other songs that prove you’re not a psychopath, they won’t be published until the major study is completed and peer-reviewed. Until then, curating a playlist will be a bit of a gamble. You might unknowingly build a mix that distinguishes you as a deviant. Or not. Considering psychopaths make up a tiny portion of the population, your playlist will reveal nothing worse than the play count for Kesha’s Sleazy Remix 2.0 Get Sleazier, a.k.a. your guilty pleasure.