Positive and Negative Hedonic Contrast With Musical Stimuli

Scott Parker, Jesse Bascom, Brian Rabinovitz, Debra Zellner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Stimuli are evaluated less positively if they follow good stimuli than otherwise; stimuli are evaluated more positively if they follow bad stimuli than otherwise. These phenomena, positive and negative hedonic contrast, have been demonstrated with a variety of stimuli but never with music. No single studies have induced both kinds of contrast by pitting better against less good stimuli. In the present study, 32 subjects heard good musical selections before bad ones or bad selections before good ones. Their evaluations of those stimuli exhibited both positive and negative hedonic contrast.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-174
Number of pages4
JournalPsychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • aesthetics
  • contrast
  • hedonics
  • music


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