Tastes and Preferences

Why do we like what we like?

It’s a fair question, and along with its other half (why don’t we like the things we dislike?), it’s not an easy question to ask.

Between being asked why I won’t go see certain types of movies and watching some of my favorites, I began pondering these broader questions of taste and preference.

Sometimes the answers are easy.  I don’t like horror movies because I don’t enjoy being scared.   I enjoy science non-fiction because it’s a subject I’ve found intriguing since childhood.  I like llamas and birds of prey because I’ve worked with them.

The answers aren’t always this easy, though.  I don’t have a good explanation behind why I don’t enjoy most comedy movies, or a reason for my enjoyment of fantasy over science fiction, or even an idea about why I like woodpeckers.

There are probably people out there (psychologists, perhaps, or neuroscientists) who understand how our opinions form, but I am not one of those people.  Instead I’ll have to just be content to recognize that people have different tastes, and be glad that some people share mine!