If you should know one thing about me, I am queen of pet peeves. I have tens that I could tell you on the top of my head, some you might think are crazy, but what can I say, I can’t help the annoyance it causes me. The typical nails on a chalkboard, chewing with your mouth open, are the ones that arise on most occasions, but everyone has something that unique that gets under their skin, whether it is a sound, a social quirk, or a voice, we all a pet peeve. Although it is obvious there are things we as humans get annoyed at or can’t stand to hear or be around, but my wonder is, what causes this “pet peeve” to emanate, and where did it begin?
I thought up a few questions as I had this topic in my mind:
- Why do we have pet peeves?
- Why is it that some people have more than others?
- Can we get over pet peeves?
A study conducted by the Wellcome Institute and Newcastle University tested pet peeves on subjects brains, but having them listen to a series of sounds, one from a fork/knife scraping glass and one nails scraping a chalkboard. These probably being two of the most know unbearable sounds. The researchers monitored the participants brains while the sounds were playing to test what kind of activity would occur and how the brain would react to the horrible sounds. The amygdala, which is where a lot of negative emotions come from, was seen to be the most affected, and followed by uneasiness with the participants actions and expressions as well. They repeated several sounds and repeated the measuring for each one as well.
Another pet peeve example included was the sound of certain words. For example: moist is one of the most common hated words, tending to make some cringe. Apparently, humans associate gross or unpleasant things with negative or uncomfortable thoughts. Possibly a word a can bring on visions of illusions of disgusting things that deter individuals from using them. Once a word is connected or associates something of disgust, most individuals will always think of that when the word is brought up, thus creating a mental pet peeve. This also goes along with food textures or smells. If one dislikes it the first time and it reminds them of something vulgar or foul, most likely that individual will always associate the food negatively. . A 2005 study showed that even if that item is altered or the packaging varied from the original,the participants still disliked them or associated them negatively.
Humans create these pet peeves from experience or exposure to negative things, or dislikes. Once an experience harms or creates a bad connotation, most individuals store it in their mind as a grievance or pet peeve. It depends on what kind and how much exposure one has, determining how many things can create this deterring mindset. We all have them, some more than others, but once they are there, they are there to stay. It’s a good thing chalk boards have become a thing of the past!