It probably happened to everyone at least once, we all at least once came to like something or someone after being repeatedly exposed to it. We might have been indifferent in the beginning, not paying too much attention to that thing or person (or character, we might even be cold toward it, sometimes hate it.
But after seeing it, hearing it, tasting it, we start to change your mind on the subject, we gradually warmed up to it, talking more about it, looking for piece of information related to it, cause after all only the fools don’t change their minds.
The mere-exposure effect is how the psychologist call the phenomenon leading one to develop a preference, to have a change of heart to thing that we become familiar with. It has been demonstrated that more often a person is seen by someone, the more pleasing and likeable that person appears to be. The effect also been demonstrated with various thing like words, paintings, pictures and sound (1)
If I know the existence of that phenomenon, if I know the name of it, it’s because I was subjected to it more than once.
When the kpop girl group SNSD (Girl’s Generation) had their comeback in 2013 with the track “I Got a Boy” I wasn’t super thrilled, I didn’t liked the song, I was really wondering why one of the top girl group of the time was coming back with this horrendous mash-up song. To me the track didn’t flow well, there was too many thing happening in one song. At the time I know I wasn’t the only one who thought that, even the member of the group wasn’t sure of what to think about the song. However after listening to it again and again just for the sake of torturing myself and trying to understand why people were enjoying it so much, I came to like it myself and it’s is now safe to say that “I Got A Boy” is one of my favorite track of the group.
Some anime and manga characters also have the same effect on me. If in the beginning, I wasn’t attracted toward them, more I was seeing them in fan art, doujinshi or simply GIF and official picture, more I was pulled toward them, looking for picture/fan art of them, enjoying doujinshi with them.
One of this case, I already mentioned it in a post that I wrote in February 2017, is Imayoshi Shouichi, character of Kuroko no Basuke, captain of the basketball team of Touou Academy. In the anime series, while I thought it was kind of cute, it wasn’t more than that, he wasn’t even on any top character at the moment, however after seeing him popping up in my endless research of various Aomine fanart I came to enjoy seeing him to the point I need to find art with only him on it.
This is also the case of the powerful wing spiker and captain of Shiratorizawa, Ushijima Wakatoshi from Haikyuu!!. When I first saw him in the anime, I wanted to punch him and his feeling of superiority, his way of look down on people, however thank to all the fanart and doujinshi I warmed up to that idiot, I warmed up to the point I absolutely needed his nendoroid when it came out.
The more recent case that King Explosion idiot that his Bakugo Katsuki from My Hero Academia, and fun thing, I’m not the only one who is struggling what that moron. My dear friend Zel also had a sudden change of heart concerning that bully. If my change of mind was cause by all the sweet and fluffy doujinshi I read with him paired with either Kirishima or Midorya, Zel it’s because she deeply fell in the pit of hell that is fan fiction, of cause all the fan art depicting him incredibly hot, sexy or just cute and fluffy didn’t help our case.
I could give you a lot more example of what the mere-exposure effect did to me, how it pushed me to use more and more certains Pokemons while playing when before I was catching them just for the sake of completing my pokedex.
This phenomenon is the same that make something or someone growing on you. If at first you just acknowledged the fact that thing or person /character exists, more you are exposed to it, more it grow on you and more you like it.
The mere-exposure effect, is that one thing that like to screw-up with your mind, to make you change your mind regarding stuff you didn’t enjoy you was just indifferent in the beginning.
Did you ever had a change of heart or mind about something or someone you didn’t particularly like in the beginning, but more you were seeing it, more you were exposed to it, more you became familiar with it more you like it?
Let me know it the comment section below!
~ Thank you for Reading ~