Meta: Another Psychological Portrait of Heavy Metal Fans


Psychologist Viren Swami along with the University of Westminster recently published the results of a psychological study involving 219 woman and 195 men in the age ranges of 18-57 examining, essentially, the individual differences and preferences of fans of heavy metal music.

Titled "Metalheads: The Influence of Personality and Individual Differences on Preference for Heavy Metal", the study can be purchased and read from the APA for $11.95.

The abstract reads:

"Previous studies have reported reliable associations between personality and music preferences, but have tended to rely on cross-genre preferences at the expense of preferences within a single subgenre. We sought to overcome this limitation by examining associations between individual differences and preferences for a specific subgenre of music, namely, contemporary heavy metal. A total of 414 individuals from Britain were presented with clips of 10 tracks of contemporary heavy metal and asked to rate each for liking. Participants also completed measures of the Big Five personality traits, attitudes toward authority, self-esteem, need for uniqueness, and religiosity. A multiple regression showed that stronger composite preference for the heavy metal tracks was associated with higher Openness to Experience, more negative attitudes toward authority, lower self-esteem, greater need for uniqueness, and lower religiosity. In addition, men showed a significantly stronger preference for the tracks than women (d = 0.54). These results are discussed in terms of the psychological needs that contemporary heavy metal fills for some individuals."

If any of our more academically inclined readers have some spare time we’ll sponsor you to give it a read and write a summary for us. Contact us here if you’re interested.

Average: 5 (1 vote)

About Josh Johns

Josh Johns's picture


Chief Editor and Writer for Metal CallOut. Favorite sub genre of heavy metal includes Black, Death, Folk and Traditional. Josh can be found at Google+.

Subscribe to Metal CallOut