General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Why do songs get old after you listen to them repeatedly?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10269points) April 22nd, 2010

Ever listen to a mix cd in your car for a while, and then all of a sudden it becomes a chore to hear it even though those songs are your favorites? What’s happening there?

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10 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

It’s part of operant conditioning theory. The repeated stimulus become less effective with repetition. That’s why slot machines work so well – they stagger the rewards.

chels's avatar

That doesn’t really ever happen with me, to be honest.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

I think it’s about your music choice to begin with. Some songs get old fast & feel dated after a week (Black Eyed Peas), others will never die. One tiny example, Janis Joplin – Maybe. I have listened to that song more than 100 times since I’ve owned it (couple decades) & it still feels emotional even after pushing play for the 101st time.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Depends on the song, if it is Pink Floyd “Darkside of the Moon” you can listen to just about any cut on that album 10,000 times and it won’t get old, or “Jam”, “Thriller”, or “Beat it” by Michael Jackson, “The End” by the Doors, “Prince of the Universe” by Queen etc.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Absolutely. I can’t even count how many times I have played through Darkside of The Moon, & every time I do, it’s like I’m hearing it for the first time. Another entire album I could listen to over & over, is Tommy by The Who.

Trillian's avatar

@Ltryptophan, Interesting that you ask this. I have several CD’s that I mixed myself, and I find myself irritated if, after a bit, I can start the next song in my head. Definitely time to get a different CD out.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@Trillian, this is precisely what I mean. Just think if you had an arabic CD in there, you’d be an oil tycoon by now!

Trillian's avatar

@Ltryptophan I need to go dig out my Sanskrit teaching CD’s. That’s a good idea, because I go into right brain mode a lot when I drive.

CodePinko's avatar

You are listening to the wrong songs.

MaryW's avatar

Songs only get old to me if they did not interest me or if they are irritating.
I believe it also matters why and where you are listening to the song.
I like @CodePinko answer above too.

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