What actually decides whether we like or dislike something and how does it work? (E.G. food, music)

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What actually decides whether we like or dislike something and how does it work? (E.G. food, music)

In: Biology

For foods, it’s a mix of biological and environmental factors. On the biological side, the molecules in food we are capable of tasting and what they taste like is determined by the taste and smell receptors we have, which vary based on genes. Some people are “supertasters,” who taste some molecules as extremely bitter which are flavourless to non-supertasters. As you grow older, your number f taste buds and flavour preferences also change. [An article with a bit more info.](https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/10/01/352771618/from-kale-to-pale-ale-a-love-of-bitter-may-be-in-your-genes)

On the environmental side, types of food that are more familiar are usually considered more desirable. Foreign delicacies are often considered strange and unappetizing if they are too unfamiliar. Cultural ideas of what is supposed to be food are another factor, such as for example how Americans typically are not a fan of eating bugs because they are perceived as gross, and are fine with eating pigs, chickens, and cows, but not dogs. Flavour wise, we tend to become “used to” the flavours we’re most exposed to. People who switch to low or no sugar diets and then eat a standard dessert generally say it’s *way* too sweet, even distastefully so, because they are used to the level sweetness in the lower or no sugar diet.