Metal helps people deal with a lot in their lives, whether dealing with some really serious personal issues to just having a shitty day in the office. So it almost comes as no surprise that a new study, titled The Memory Remains published in Journal Of Psychology Of Popular Media, boasts the claim that metal just might help people deal with death and mortality.
The study consisted of 30 participants, who were either given an audio book or a copy of Slayer's Angel of Death before taking a psychological questionnaire. You can check the abstract out below, though my main concern with the study is that it's only 30 people and the audio book isn't specified in terms of its topic.
Heavy metal music is often associated with death and dying by nonfans whereas members of this subculture report that listening to metal music is their escape from depression and even helpful against death-related thoughts. According to terror management theory, self-esteem and cultural worldview serve as a symbolic, 2-component buffer system working against the fear of death. What remains unclear in recent research on terror management theory is if (a) the presentation of cultural goods directly after mortality salience is enough to help against the fear of death or if the buffer components still need to be activated and (b) if the activation of 1 buffer component is enough. Metal music can be seen as cultural good for fans and thereby can form part of their social identity.
Two studies investigated whether heavy metal music is able to serve as a cultural worldview buffer against existential anguish by using implicit measurements. In Study 1, we found that fans had no further need to increase their cultural worldview but only if they listened to metal music after the induction of mortality salience. Results of Study 2 revealed that metal music made further support of self-esteem unnecessary for fans whereas nonfans still had the need to increase their self-esteem.
Either way, is this news to metal fans? Or something we've always just kind of known?