General Question

DeezerQueue's avatar

Why are we so persistent to achieve an acquired taste for something?

Asked by DeezerQueue (2017points) June 1st, 2008

According to Wikipedia, “Intentionally changing one’s preferences can be hard to accomplish. It usually requires a deliberate effort, such as acting as if one likes something in order to have the responses and feelings that will produce the desired taste. The risk in this acting is that it can lead to all sorts of excesses such as self-deception and pretentiousness.” As an example, I can remember when I was young, being invited to drink coffee with the adults was sort of a rite of passage into adulthood. But honestly, I thought the taste was horrible and I couldn’t put in enough sugar or creamer to make it palatable. Yet I stubbornly kept drinking it until I eventually began to like it.

Not just food, but other things as well, music, for example.

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12 Answers

kevbo's avatar

I’d say peer pressure and/or pressures to conform. I’d say, too, that sometimes it’s just a matter of taste changing over time. (and hi mfl!)

koesac's avatar

It’s all about acceptance.

People do it to make the status quo.

hannahsugs's avatar

I never liked olives until I was about 14, but so many people around me did that I decided to start eating one every now and then to see if I learned to like them. After a while, I did! For me, it was not pressure to conform (nobody cared if I liked them or not, they were all happy to have more to themselves). Rather, I knew that olives are considered a “gourmet” food and I figured that I was missing out on a delicious experience if I didn’t eat them. My logic was that if everyone else likes them, there must be a reason, and I should give it a try to see if I could get in on some of that yummy action.

wizard's avatar

Well, if it’s a food his/her family likes to buy and the whole family likes it, they may do it because they don’t wanna be left out. Like Kevbo said, the need to conform.

wildflower's avatar

I made an effort to learn to love coffee when I was in school and it became the thing to do when skipping class (of course, to our teachers it was: “we’re going to the library to work on the assignment”). I also recall my older brother telling me he started drinking coffee so he could have coffee breaks when he first started working.
In those two cases: peer pressure/conformity – sad, but true.

Thankfully, I don’t think any lasting damage was done. I’ve since been told I should stop drinking coffee, but to be honest, I just like it too much and I won’t give it up all together.

gailcalled's avatar

I am trying to learn to like avocadoes because they are apparently delicious according to most of the world, they are nutritious, they are easy to prepare and serve, and they have a pit you can grow a tree from.

I threw in the towel long ago on liver, lima beans, beer and whiskey. So be it.

breedmitch's avatar

As far as liking coffee goes, don’t forget that there’s a chemical element involved also: caffeine. The body perceives a “benefit” from the coffee and it’s likely that helped you come to like it. Same thing could be applied to beer, wine, and liquor: things of which children often can’t stand the taste. They often “come around” as adults when they grow to appreciate the intoxicating effect. Come to think of it, maybe cigarettes, too, as everyones first reaction to inhaling seems to be to choke.

ezraglenn's avatar

I have this problem with raw tomatoes, as it seems a lot of people do. I can’t stand them. They taste like eyeballs. But they’re in everything. So every now and then I will eat one and hate it, but hopefully one day I will like them. Because it’s just convenient.
Also, @gail- I had a simillar problem with avacadoes until very recently. I’m only beginning to embrace them.

wildflower's avatar

@ezraglenn
How do you know what eyeballs taste like?

ezraglenn's avatar

@wf- no comment.

DeezerQueue's avatar

@wildflower Cannibalism is a small price to pay for popularity.

wildflower's avatar

I’m scared now…

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