Are our preferences predetermined in our genetics? How do we get our likes and dislikes and why are everyones so different?


For instance how come one person can love bananas, running and hate chocolate yet their parent can hate bananas, running and love chocolate? Is it predetermined or something we just discover? Why are everyones tastes and likes/dislikes so different?

In: Biology

You’re essentially asking about the nature vs nurture argument.

Some preferences are just because of how we’re raised. For example, I think of pancakes, crepes, and waffles as dessert foods because that’s just how I was raised. Other people may think those are breakfast foods.

On the other hand, some preferences could be genetic. Some are obvious: many East Asian people are lactose intolerant, so they probably don’t like drinking milk. Some taste receptors are genetic: for example, there’s this chemical called PTC that tastes like nothing to some people, but tastes very bitter to others because of their genes. Studies have showed that people who can taste PTC are less likely to smoke or like tea/ coffee (I’m not entirely clear on whether this is because they taste more bitter flavours, or because smoking and drinking tea/ coffee kills your tastebuds).