The Psychological Record

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 481–490 | Cite as

The Influence of Familiarity on Evaluations of Liking and Goodness of Several Types of Music

  • Amy Zissman
  • Edith Neimark


The effect of familiarity upon evaluation of liking and goodness of 12 brief excerpts representing five different genres of music was assessed by three measures: comparison of group mean ratings for genres differing with respect to presumed familiarity, correlation for each S of rated familiarity to evaluations of goodness and liking, and frequency with which familiarity was explicitly cited as justification of liking. Results showed that familiarity operates at several levels of awareness and that the nature of its effect is a function of its means of assessment/variation. Excerpts expected to be familiar were so rated and were better liked than unfamiliar excerpts. The proportion of variance in evaluations of liking and goodness accounted for by rated familiarity varied among individuals but all correlations were positive. Familiarity is infrequently given as a justification of liking except for atypical members of a genre.


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy Zissman
    • 1
  • Edith Neimark
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Kilmer CampusRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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