Researchers take on crucial question: Are haters gonna hate? The ‘Hater Test’ Shows Why Some People Hate Everything

Researchers take on crucial question: Are haters gonna hate?

By Sarah Kliff, Updated: August 27, 2013

It is an age-old adage of Twitter, which apparently traces its roots back to a 3LW video from 2000: Haters gonna hate.

Now, scientists have taken it upon themselves to figure out whether this is true. Do verified haters tend to hate everything else they stumble upon? Yes, according to a new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. People who tend to hate things they already know about are (surprise!) more disposed to hate things they have not yet come in contact with. To test out this theory, a team of psychologists asked study participants how they felt about a number of mundane and unrelated subjects that included (but was not limited to) architecture, health care, crossword puzzles, taxidermy and Japan.They wanted to figure out if people tended to like or dislike things in general. This was dubbed the individual’s dispositional attitude or, more simply put, checked for whether they were a hater who pretty much hates on everything that comes across their path.

“If individuals differ in the general tendency to like versus dislike objects, an intriguing possibility is that attitudes toward independent objects may actually be related,” they write. “So someone’s attitude toward architecture may in fact tell us something about their attitude toward health care because both attitudes would be biased by a disposition to like or dislike stimuli.”

The researchers did run one group through the hater test, as I like to think of it, twice with a month in between trials, to ensure that it didn’t just represent some people having a bad day.

With the hater test verified and known haters identified, researchers asked their participants to read about the “Monahan LPI-800 Compact 2/3-Cubic-Foot 700-Watt Microwave Oven.” This not a real microwave but one dreamt up by researchers to test how much people would hate it.

The haters, perhaps unsurprisingly, were much less enthused than those who had more positive attitudes about camping, Japan and the like. This was also true in a question about vaccines, where the likers were more likely to have a positive opinion about getting vaccine shots then the haters.

“The present research demonstrated that some people tend to like things, whereas others tend to dislike things,” the researchers conclude, contending that “A more thorough understanding of this tendency will lead to a more thorough understanding of the psychology of attitudes.”

Hate on, haters. It was what you were meant to do.


The ‘Hater Test’ Shows Why Some People Hate Everything

MAX NISEN AUG. 28, 2013, 5:49 PM 2,274 3

The real reason so many people are hating on Miley Cyrus after her scandalous VMA performance may have nothing to do with the merits of her performance.

It turns out some people are just predisposed to hate new things.

A recent study from researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Pennsylvania, first highlighted by The Washington Post’s Wonkblog, finds that people have “depositional attitudes” or an ingrained tendency to hate or like whatever they happen to come into contact with.

To test this tendency, the researchers asked subjects to rate items on a scale from 1 (extremely unfavorable) to 7 (extremely favorable). The lowest rated item from the paper were skunks, with an average score of 2. The highest rated were sandwiches at 5.9. From a list of 200 items, only 16 made it onto Dispositional Attitude Measure (the DAM, a.k.a. the “hater test”).

Here are those words, ranked from most to least despised on average:

Taxes (2.08)
Cold showers (2.14)
Taxidermy (2.78)
Receiving criticism (3.28)
Politics (3.3)
Rugby (3.54)
Public speaking (3.66)
Playing chess (3.9)
Canoes (4.12)
Soccer (4.14)
Camping (4.32)
Statistics (4.66)
Japan (4.74)
Bicycles (5.3)
Doing crossword puzzles (5.56)
Architecture (5.78)

Averaging participants’ feelings toward those 16 items gave an accurate measure of someone’s default attitude.

After reading a series of equally positive and negative reviews about a fake microwave oven, the “Monahan LPI-800 Compact 2/3-Cubic-Foot 700-Watt Microwave Oven,” people with lower average scores tended to rate it far more negatively than those with higher scores.

The result shows that some people tend to have a positive reaction to new things, while haters gonna hate.

People who hated the fake microwave probably have nasty things to say about Miley too.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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