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Background: I noticed with a lot of things, but especially music I tend to hate certain songs and albums initially but they always seem to grow on me, and vice versa. I noticed this pattern in a lot of my friends as well so my question is:

Why do humans dislike things they normally like later on?

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3 Answers

It could be the case that it takes time to like some thinks. We get habituated by being exposed to the same stimuli, here music. The dislike decreases after repeated presentations and the likeness may occur, if at all. At the same time, there is a continuous 'strive' between 'familiarity' and 'change'. The experience of 'change' we face by listening to some songs at the beginning, might become the experience of 'familiar' sounds and the liking could develop. The same experience I've had with some food preparations.

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References for this answer would also be good. I think you're on the right track, though. –  Chuck Sherrington Jul 22 '13 at 20:18
    
@ChuckSherrington This seems similar to Daniel Berlyne's ideas about novelty and complexity. There is also some relevant research by my own PhD advisor, Paul Hekkert. –  Gaël Laurans Jul 26 '13 at 6:51
    
@GaëlLaurans Feel free to edit that in if you'd like. –  Chuck Sherrington Jul 26 '13 at 19:56
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One relevant piece of research is the research on the “mere exposure” effect. Basically, the idea is that being exposed to something novel is enough to make you like it a little bit more. The most common interpretation is that we generally like the things we can understand/process easily and that repeated exposures makes the stimulus more familiar and thus easier to process. This goes under the name “processing fluency”.

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Well would you say the same to when you listen to Justin Bieber, Rebecca Black, country music*???* I certainly wouldn't.

For the examples I listed above, the more I hear it, the more I hate it with a passion. So how do you explain that? =p

Jokes aside, as for the music I hated initially but ended up liking them, I find that it is only the case that the more I listen to it, the more the lyrics makes sense. Then somehow as if in an instant it is just clicks and I find that everything about the lyrics fits in with the tempo and musicality of the background music, instruments. That is how I find I end up loving the song.

What I'm trying to get here is, I think it is more to do with perceived expectation or maybe just peer pressure?

Let's say this scenario: you hear a new song initially and you expected it to be of a certain standard. It doesn't quite cut it. So you underestimate it. Then it appears on the radio alot more often and your friend claim it's pretty good. You hear it a several times more but now with a lower expectation of what you had of the song. Then you slowly find "it's not that bad" and get an more and more slight inclinations towards that song.

I find this apparent to not only music but a perfect example of mine would be a person's looks. For me, I found this true on many occasions. I meet an average looking girl in class but the more I see her, I find she actually looks quite hot. But the opposite also happens for me i.e the more I see a hot girl I find she looks average.

You get me?

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On a serious note, if you have some references for the "perceived expectation" bit, it would make this a much stronger answer. –  Chuck Sherrington Jul 22 '13 at 20:17
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