Anxiety of Peer Influence [...]

Mismatches between our taste and the taste of others causes cognitive dissonance and anxiety which many resolve through modifying their taste.

Liking of songs, based on teens’ initial ratings was strongly related to activity in the head of the caudate nucleus. Although the exact nature of caudate activity remains a source of debate, most agree that activity in this area is highly related to reward and valuation. So it appears to reflect pleasure, not familiarity. The researchers also observed activity in a number of regions that have been previously associated with the pleasurable aspects of listening to music.

When adolescents changed their ratings, according to their brain activity, it had nothing to do with increased liking of the music. Instead, a very different picture emerged. The network of regions associated with changing a rating included bilateral insula, the anterior cingulate cortex and the supplementary motor cortex and frontal poles — regions previously associated with anxiety and pain. These regions all showed increased activity when teens were shown a popularity rating that did not match their own, meaning that they had this neural response prior to changing their own rating. Interestingly, individuals who demonstrated the greatest sensitivity to popularity, as determined by survey measures taken at the beginning of the study, manifested the strongest insula activity during the act of conforming. Simply, the greater the insula activity, the higher the odds of conforming. The authors suggest that this pattern of activity can be explained by cognitive or emotional dissonance caused by the mismatch between one’s ratings and the ratings of others. (Source)


A related effect is the Recommender’s Paradox

Social media leads to being Surprised by Disagreement