Death Metal Music Inspires Joy Not Violence, Study Finds

An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: I’ve had one
desire since I was born; to see my body ripped and torn. The lyrics
of death metal band Bloodbath’s cannibalism-themed track, Eaten, do
not leave much to the imagination. But neither this song — nor the
gruesome lyrics of others of the genre — inspire violence. That is
the conclusion of Macquarie University’s music lab, which used the
track in a psychological test. It revealed that death metal fans
are not “desensitized” to violent imagery. The findings are
published in the Royal Society journal Open Science. How do
scientists test people’s sensitivity to violence? With a classic
psychological experiment that probes people’s subconscious
responses; and by recruiting death metal fans to take part. The
test involved asking 32 fans and 48 non-fans listen to death metal
or to pop whilst looking at some pretty unpleasant images. Lead
researcher Yanan Sun explained that the aim of the experiment was
to measure how much participants’ brains noticed violent scenes,
and to compare how their sensitivity was affected by the musical
accompaniment. To test the impact of different types of music, they
also used a track they deemed to be the opposite of Eaten. “We used
‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams as a [comparison],” said Dr Sun. Each
participant was played Happy or Eaten through headphones, while
they were shown a pair of images — one to each eye. One image
showed a violent scene, such as someone being attacked in a street.
The other showed something innocuous — a group of people walking
down that same street, for example. “If fans of violent music were
desensitized to violence, which is what a lot of parent groups,
religious groups and censorship boards are worried about, then they
wouldn’t show this same bias. “But the fans showed the very same
bias towards processing these violent images as those who were not
fans of this music.”

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Source: *FS – All – Science News 2 Net
Death Metal Music Inspires Joy Not Violence, Study Finds