Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Dawn of an Era of Bullshit

You might say that it's quite pretentious for a title and you might be right. The thing is that studies like this one are supposed to be revelatory for the wider public, while for me they are a confirmation of a multitude of observations which I still consider biased until they are not backed by enough scientific proof. In spite of that I consider myself on the right track while trying to keep as much rational distance I am capable of. So, science dipped again it's fingers into the Metalheads phenomenon - quite unintentionally I guess - and it came up with the following:

Unlikely as it may seem, fans of heavy metal and classical music have much more in common than most people would imagine, according to a new study. Researchers found fans of the music styles shared "virtually identical" personality traits, such as being creative and at ease with themselves.

The finding was revealed in a major study into the link between people's musical tastes and their personalities. Professor Adrian North, of Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University, said the survey of more than 36,000 people from all over the world is by far the biggest study of its kind ever undertaken.

"I was struck by how similar fans of heavy metal and classical music really are," he said. "Apart from the age differences, they were virtually identical. Both were more creative than other people, both were not terribly outgoing and they were also quite at ease."

He speculated that both types of music have a sense of theatricality about them which may appeal to similar types of people.

I will let the scientists question the method and the interpretation of the study and I would be very interested by such a debate of course. But let's focus on the layman interpretation. I'm not that much into the comparison between fans of Heavy Metal and of Classical music. I don't find it very convincing and too relevant at this stage. What I find really interesting are exactly the personality traits outlined by the study : creativity, "not terribly outgoing" and at ease with themselves. That's where they hit the right spot. So I guess I won't go out tonight on a killing spree on the soundtrack of the latest Slipknot album, I'm not that outgoing tonight. And I'm so at ease with myself that I'll stick to Raining Blood from my speakers:)

This being said, I wish you all an excellent in-between time after the morning coffee and before the teeth brushing or vice versa.