Why do we like what we like?


“At the moment we consume, say, a chocolate bar, our brains seamlessly synthesize sensory phenomena, ideas, memories, and expectations—which means that we often don’t fully understand why we like the things we like. Psychologist Paul Bloom describes how storytelling and marketing can add layers of meaning to our pleasures.”

“Yale psychologist Paul Bloom argues that it’s easy to miss the complexity that underlies pleasure. His work looks at the subtleties of everyday behaviors like distinguishing art from everything else, the intuitive sense of fairness that children display, and the feeling of pleasure. That last topic resulted in a book, How Pleasure Works, in which Bloom shows how the most obvious factors—a catchy melody or mouthwatering smells—don’t explain pleasure fully. “Pleasure is affected by deeper factors, including what the person thinks about the true essence of what he or she is getting pleasure from,” he notes in the book.”


O’Callahan, T. (2013, February 7). Why do we like what we like?. Yale Insights. https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/why-do-we-like-what-we-like

Photo by Monique Carrati on Unsplash


This article is about pleasure, but I’m thinking about it through connections between pleasure and interest. What makes us happy and what makes us interested. This article points out that pleasure is heavily dependent on context and previous experiment. In creating a user experience sparking interest is important, so its possible that working with this sort of psychology in an exhibition experience could help people get involved. What around my design would make inspiration and interest meaningful?