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Why You Love (Or Hate) Christmas Music

“Deck the halls with shut up.” —Some people

Posted on

At first, you like it.

Listening to something over and over naturally makes you more familiar with it, even if it’s a genre you don’t usually listen to, as some studies have found.

This fun psychological tool advertisers use all the time is also known as the mere-exposure effect, or liking something more because you feel comfortable with it.

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But once you hit a threshold, your enjoyment starts to drop.

Disney / Via tumblr.com

An oft-referenced study published in the Journal of Research in Music Education demonstrates this pattern in pop music, which climbs charts before it drops off into an uncharted abyss.

More recently, researchers used classical music to suss out how pleasurable or boring a song would be after repeated listens. The results, presented at two 2010 music and cognition conferences, show enjoyment starts to wane after a critical point, which is consistent with previous studies.

OK blah blah blah, but what about Christmas music?

Via escribiendoxtodo.blogspot.com

Considering "Jingle Bells" only jangle seasonally, we might experience mini versions of that inverted U love-to-hate relationship. Since we don't hear it the majority of the year, it could start a fresh cycle annually.

And since the season is typically short (😒 to retail's Christmas creep), perhaps the end of the season ends right at the peak of the U when it makes you feel most joyous. Meaning if you hate it, maybe your threshold is a bit sooner than others'.

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