Ever heard the phrase haters gonna hate? A new study says it’s true. So you can stop wasting your time trying to get along with your in-laws or that sanctimommy in your child’s playgroup. It turns out that some people are just impossible to please.
In their paper â€śAttitudes Without Objects,â€ť psychologists Justin Hepler and Dolores Albarracin hypothesized:
“individuals may differ in the dispositional tendency to have positive versusÂ negative attitudes…Â Â If individuals differ in the general tendency to like versus dislike objects, an intriguingÂ possibility is that attitudes toward independent objects may actually be related. So someoneâ€™sÂ attitude toward architecture may in fact tell us something about their attitude toward health careÂ because both attitudes would be biased by a disposition to like or dislike stimuli.”
“Dislike stimuli?” So when someone says, “He hates everything,”Â It could actually be true. The psychologists found that of the 200 people they polled, those who reacted negatively to random subjects such as camping, playing chess and architecture – were just more likely to react negatively in general. From Slate:
After marking the dependably hateful haters with a scarletÂ H, the researchers presented participants with information about a new product: the â€śMonahan LPI-800 Compact 2/3-Cubic-Foot 700-WattÂ Microwave Oven.â€ť This elaborately titled microwave oven does not exist (except in Jack Donaghy’s mind), but participants didn’t know this and were given 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.
Being of the Internet, I’ve long suspected this to be true. There’s that handful of commenters that always have something negative to say. I notice it on every site I visit. If you visit a site with any regularity, you come to know people’s names and reactions – and you can always guess who is going to be the first to rain on everybody’s parade.
Also true of my father. He could point out the shitty qualities in anything. A woman in one of my playgroups in Brooklyn was the same way; every toy was dangerous, every snack was disgusting and everything her child did was accompanied by a little directive comment to gently remind him he was doing everything wrong.
Haters gonna hate. Science says so.