Why I don’t like rap

I often wonder why people like some of the music I dislike – or why I like the music that I do.  Turns out that some of it might just be a matter of liking what you are used to.  I read about a study in which the guys were trying to show that people like what they know – the ‘familiarity effect’.  They took a batch of rats and raised half listening to Schoenberg, the other half listening to Mozart.  Later, they put the adult rats into a cage in which they could choose the music playing by moving to a certain side of the cage.  Guess which music they preferred…

The familiarity effect has also been shown to be present in humans.  So maybe if I listened to enough hip-hop then I could actually learn to like it.

  • http://www.alistairpott.com admin

    UPDATE: I have read a more detailed account of the study and the description above is somewhat simplified. There were 3 groups of rats:
    1 – Mozart
    2 – Schoenberg
    3 – Control (white noise)

    The rats did indeed prefer the music that they were raised listening too. But Mozart was also noticeably more popular.

  • Jacqui Pott

    This is so cool. I love these types of experiments. But (and I know other factors may have something to do with it) Nicci and I grew up listening to much the same music and we now have EXTREMELY different music tastes…

  • http://www.alistairpott.com Alistair

    I think that you hit the nail on the head – there are too many other factors impacting your tastes in music. I think that I would have to listen to a LOT of rap before I started enjoying it!