The 27 Club

Over the years, psychologist have shown that clinically depressed people use language differently than other people.  In particular, a series of studies has shown these people tend to use first person singular pronouns more than non-depressed people. One such study analyzed the writings of celebrated poets and found those who committed suicide integrated more first person singular pronouns into their poems than other poets who had not taken their own lives. These results show that people who have committed suicide are focused on themselves rather than other people. 

new study has replicated and extended this research by examining the lyrics of musicians in the 27 Club (a group of musicians who died at age 27 either by their own hand or by other means).  As in the other studies, results showed that musicians who had taken their own life used more self-references. In addition, this research found that the lyrical nature of suicidal musicians was more dynamic that other musicians. That is, suicidal musicians tend to express their psychological states more narratively in their music than the other dead musicians.  This replicated study captures once again language that can be used as a way to tap into people’s psychological states by studying word patterns.