Study: Haters gonna hate

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 12:59 PM

Katy Waldman

Haters really are going to hate. A new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology corroborates the truism that you just can’t win with some people.

In their paper “Attitudes Without Objects,” psychologists Justin Hepler and Dolores Albarracin show that those who already hold a lot of negative views are more likely to react negatively to new stimuli. The pair asked a group of 200 men and women to evaluate how they felt about various subjects, such as camping, health care, architecture, taxidermy, crossword puzzles and Japan. They took note of the respondents who rated the prompts harshly (the haters). Then, a month later, they asked everyone to weigh in again to control for the possibility that the grumps were just in a bad mood the first time.

Then the researchers presented participants with information about a fictitious new microwave oven and showed them three glowing fake reviews and three dissatisfied fake reviews.

While people who more or less liked taxidermy and crossword puzzles also liked the oven, the haters drenched their fake consumer surveys in haterade.

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