Liking for happy- and sad-sounding music: Effects of exposure

Cognition and Emotion 22 (2):218-237 (2008)
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We examined liking for happy- and sad-sounding music as a function of exposure, which varied both in quantity (number of exposures) and in quality (focused or incidental listening). Liking ratings were higher for happy than for sad music after focused listening, but similar after incidental listening. In the incidental condition, liking ratings increased linearly as a function of exposure. In the focused condition, liking ratings were an inverted U-shaped function of exposure, with initial increases in liking (after 2 exposures) followed by decreases (after 8 or 32 exposures). The results documented that: (1) sad music is liked as much as happy music in some instances; (2) frequency of exposure causes both familiarity (positive) and over-familiarity (negative) effects; and (3) effects of exposure on liking differ for focused and incidental listening.



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