If you love the Eminem song “Lose Yourself,” you’re not alone. The popular 2002 track, featured in the equally popular movie 8 Mile, is a favorite of many, but it just so happens to be extra popular with psychopaths, according to research.
The study took place in 2017. Five years ago, researchers at NYU got 200 people together to complete a questionnaire to determine their level of psychopathy. Part of that study gave respondents 260 songs to listen to and rate on a seven-point scale.
The higher the person rated “Lose Yourself,” the more likely they were to be psychopaths. While the song rating was only part of the questionnaire, researchers did note that those who scored higher in psychopathy traits also happened to rate “Lose Yourself” higher than others.
A few other songs were preferred by psychopaths as well. Those included “What Do You Mean?” by Justin Bieber and “No Diggity” by Blackstreet and Dr. Dre. Huh, go figure.
So what does this even mean? To say that liking “Lose Yourself” makes a person into a Norman Bates-type character is a bit silly. As Pascal Wallisch, who headed up the research, explained to The Guardian, it’s much more subtle than that. “The media portrays psychopaths as axe murderers and serial killers, but the reality is they are not obvious; they are not like The Joker in Batman,” he said. “They might be working right next to you, and they blend in. They are like psychological dark matter. You don’t want to have these people in positions where they can cause a lot of harm. We need a tool to identify them without their cooperation or consent.”
How could this study be used in the real world? According to Wallisch, if a group of songs is popular among psychopaths, that could be used in public playlists to flag potentially problematic people. “The beauty of this idea is you can use it as a screening test without consent, cooperation or maybe even the knowledge of the people involved,” he said. “The ethics of this are very hairy, but so is having a psychopath as a boss, and so is having a psychopath in any position of power.”