Data from several experiments show that, contrary to traditional models of variety seeking, individuals choose to switch to less-preferred options even though they enjoy those items less than they would have enjoyed repeating a more-preferred option. Two explanations for this finding are tested. Results indicate no evidence of a benefit to more-preferred options due to the contrast to less-preferred alternatives. However, the results of three studies suggest that retrospective global evaluations favor varied sequences that also include less-preferred items as opposed to sequences that only include more-preferred items, even though these more varied sequences result in diminished enjoyment during consumption.
Ratner, R. K., Kahn, B. E., & Kahneman, D. (1999). Choosing less-preferred experiences for the sake of variety. Journal of consumer research, 26(1), 1-15.