Author Topic: Accounting for taste  (Read 781 times)

Online Hydra009

Accounting for taste
« on: January 07, 2019, 02:51:37 PM »
There's a common saying, "there's no accounting for taste", which states that people have subjective personal likes/dislikes that can't be objectively explained.  But is that really true?  If I were to delve deep into a person's psychology (and their surrounding culture), could I figure out why they like what they like and dislike what they dislike?

Let's start at the true gold standard of subjectivity, favorite colors.  Blue is far and away the world's favorite color (including yours truly)



Why?

Potentially, a great many reasons, none of which are subjective.  As both the sky and the ocean, blue is an incredibly commonplace color.  It's also one that our ancestors actively searched for in order to find new sources of fresh water in lakes and rivers.  Water, and thus the color blue, is quite literally life, so its prominence makes a lot of sense.  There are probably a whole host of other reasons that haven't occurred to me.  But the point is, this preference is not (or at least not entirely) subjective - there are evolutionary, psychological reasons why people like blue.

But that's an easy example.  How about another one.  Let's talk car colors.



Unlike the sky, you could get your car painted whatever color you want, it's totally up to you and your subjective tastes.  So it should be completely random.  Lime green and orange should be just as common as black and white.  But they aren't.

White and black are far and away the favorites, with the majority of cars being some shade of white-black.  Again, why?  Out of all the colors, these are arguably the least colorful.  Imho, it's cultural: black is associated with luxury cars, so choosing black - even for a rustbucket - is attempting to give the appearance of wealth.  Plus, blemishes are less noticeable on black.  These choices are more difficult to explain, but it certainly seems like there are some psychological/cultural regions for why people prefer the car colors they prefer.

Now let's get into everyone's favorite thing to disagree about: the arts and entertainment.

Explaining people's preferences here should basically be impossible!  I mean, there are probably people out there whose favorite movie is Phantom Menace or Catwoman or Jack & Jill or The Emoji Movie.  *shudders*  What possible explanation could there possibly be???

Well, imo these particular examples You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login.  But put in more general terms, perhaps people's preferences are explainable.  There are You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login that all stories seem to at least partially draw from.  And in particular, You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login seems to be a crowd-pleaser.  People's tastes may be more varied, grasping onto various well-established genres like sci-fi or horror or comedy, but they do tend to cluster (hence the existence of genres).  Imo, there is a reason why Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark was such a success and Crystal Skull wasn't.  It might take me almost forever to methodically go over both films and figure out exactly what went right with the former and what went wrong with the latter, but it's there.

So, what do you think?  Can there be an accounting for taste?  Or is it inexplicable?

Re: Accounting for taste
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2019, 03:26:43 PM »
I'll offer this from local experience.  In the desert white and light pastel color cars are far more numerous than dark colors because white reflects the sun better.
Also, white does not seem to suffer as much from the effects of the sun as dark colors.

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Re: Accounting for taste
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2019, 03:50:33 PM »
I figure that's because the sun bleaches everything white anyway, so if it starts out white it can't get much whiter! LOL
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Re: Accounting for taste
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2019, 04:27:56 PM »
Aesthetics is a topic I find interesting. Like pretty much all our preferences, I think what we like is a combination of culture, experience and evolutionary adaptation. Human neuroimaging studies have convincingly shown that the brain areas involved in aesthetic responses to artworks overlap with those that mediate the appraisal of objects of evolutionary importance, such as the desirability of foods or the attractiveness of potential mates. There appear to be general neurological aesthetic systems that determine how appealing an object is. There are studies that show that people of different cultures like symmetry and also like fluid curves. Regarding narratives, there are stories that also appear to be universal, such as the protagonist/antagonist conflict, dichotomies in general actually. As you pointed out, the hero's journey is a narrative that appears across cultures and generations.

Regarding colors and cars, I wonder if color preferences are not only about status but about the shape of the particular vehicle. I know there are certain cars I prefer in black because black gives an illusion of depth and matches the tires giving a sleek, uniform look. I find trucks, with their straight lines, look better in color because they create contrast, accentuating the components of the vehicle-- the wheels, fenders, mirrors-- giving a modular, rugged appearance.





« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 04:58:00 PM by GSOgymrat »
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Online aitm

Re: Accounting for taste
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2019, 05:28:14 PM »
I would not be surprised if a great deal of "taste" was simple the ole "monkey see monkey do". A rather simply explanation for whatever the hell word is that means you get most your "likes" from your familiar and fond experiences which most often is family then friends.
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Online Baruch

Re: Accounting for taste
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2019, 07:37:14 PM »
Using NLP to convince people to buy cars in boring colors, is all part of the Soviet-izing of American consumer tastes.  Eventually Americans will praise the system where you have to get a ticket from one line, to stand in another line, to find out they are all out of the same stuff they give everyone.

Also black cars ... Henry Ford.  The real American Nazi.
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline SGOS

Re: Accounting for taste
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2019, 06:54:21 AM »
Most favorite color blue?  This one surprises me.  I would have guessed red, although I've not asked that question since I was in the 4th grade. 

Favorite color for cars absolutely blows me away, but not because it differs from my own, but because of what I see on the road.  Without sitting on the side of the road and doing a tally, I would have guessed the favorite color had to be a non-distinct silver, light gray or beige.  Not white or black.  I would swear in court that the most non-distinct colors rule the American driver, and I think they do.  Silver, gray, and beige are in the middle of the ranking, but the shades most used for those three are indistinguishable at a distance comprising by far the most common color, or color group, if you wish.  I call them all one color, the color "pale bland."  And I would guess that group comprises 90% of all modern cars.

Online Baruch

Re: Accounting for taste
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2019, 12:41:45 PM »
Maybe drivers are trying to blend in, to avoid tickets.  I would give a ticket to anyone driving a red car ;-)
𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎌𐎀𐎍𐎎𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀𐎟𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎁𐎀𐎍𐎉𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Accounting for taste
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2019, 01:12:12 PM »
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Maybe drivers are trying to blend in, to avoid tickets.  I would give a ticket to anyone driving a red car ;-)
I remember reading an article awhile ago that asserted red cars gather the most speeding tickets.  And more tickets in general. 

That does make a bit of sense to me.  Red is associated with speed and kind of standing out in a crowd. 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Munch

Re: Accounting for taste
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2019, 01:18:22 PM »
maybe for cars, but can't understand a dislike for the color brown. Many a good thing are such a color. Good soil, wooden furniture and housing, chocolate, idris elba's chest.



« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 01:20:48 PM by Munch »

Re: Accounting for taste
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2019, 01:21:55 PM »
And Cleveland's football team! The only one, I think, that's publicly owned.
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Re: Accounting for taste
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2019, 02:20:36 PM »
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And Cleveland's football team! The only one, I think, that's publicly owned.
You are thinking Green Bay--not brown, but public ownership.  They are green and gold.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Re: Accounting for taste
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2019, 02:37:09 PM »
OOPS! Oh, well, that's what I get for not following football for decades...
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Online Baruch

Re: Accounting for taste
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2019, 06:54:25 PM »
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I remember reading an article awhile ago that asserted red cars gather the most speeding tickets.  And more tickets in general. 

That does make a bit of sense to me.  Red is associated with speed and kind of standing out in a crowd.

In the future, the law will only allow pink cars, and mini-models only.  With pussy hats and bras over the headlamps.
𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎌𐎀𐎍𐎎𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀𐎟𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎁𐎀𐎍𐎉𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Online Hydra009

Re: Accounting for taste
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2019, 11:43:13 PM »
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I remember reading an article awhile ago that asserted red cars gather the most speeding tickets.  And more tickets in general. 

That does make a bit of sense to me.  Red is associated with speed and kind of standing out in a crowd.
Yep.  And red in a sea of white-black is a hell of a attention-getter.  Bright colors in general are.  So my hunch is that these bland car colors are entirely deliberate.  People who stand out get pulled over.

It almost reminds me of zebra camouflage.  Zebras don't blend into the environment - they blend into each other, so any predator has a more difficult time of singling one out to kill.  A herd of black-gray-white cars strike me as a similar strategy.

Another possibility is resale forcing people to choose car colors that are already popular since people are more like to buy a used car in a popular color.  Similarly, it's difficult to find someone selling a car of a less-popular color, so buyers are more likely to pick the already popular color.  Combined, these two factors cause people to dogpile on a just a few colors and eschew the rest. 

 

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