A computer analysis of lyrics in hit songs over the last three decades finds that popular music has become increasingly hostile and narcissistic, The New York Times reports.
The debate is over what the findings signify: more rage and egotism among young people in general, or just more social acceptance of letting those feelings show?
One of the study’s authors believes it’s the former.
“Late adolescents and college students love themselves more today than ever before,” said Nathan DeWall, a psychologist at the University of Kentucky.
DeWall and his co-authors also say that narcissism is linked to heightened anger, and that their study of lyrics from 1980 to 2007 bears out this connection: Lyrics have gotten more negative as they’ve become more focused on “I” and “me.”
Newer songs contain fewer expressions of love and fellowship toward others, and fewer references to “we” and “us,” the authors contend.
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