Preferences could be conceived as an attitude toward a set of properties of context, memory, and affect – a gage of how much uncertainty one is willing to tolerate. Human preferences are a complicated combination of wishes, desires, needs, and acceptations. To understand this reasoning the next quotes are of interest:
“Sometimes one likes foolish people for their folly, better than wise people for their wisdom.”
― Elizabeth Gaskell, Wives and Daughters
“There are some who want to get married and others who don’t. I have never had an impulse to go to the altar. I am a difficult person to lead.”
― Greta Garbo, Greta, and Cecil
“To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you ought to prefer is to have kept your soul alive.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson, An Inland Voyage
“If I follow the inclination of my nature, it is this: beggar-woman and single, far rather than queen and married.”
― Elizabeth I, Collected Works
“I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.”
― Johannes Kepler
“To eat in a monastery refectory is an exercise in humility; daily, one is reminded to put communal necessity before individual preference. While consumer culture speaks only to preferences, treating even whims as needs to be granted (and the sooner the better), monastics sense that this pandering to delusions of self-importance weakens the true self, and diminishes our ability to distinguish desires from needs. It’s a price they’re not willing to pay.”
― Kathleen Norris, The Cloister Walk
“People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.
― Abraham Lincoln
“Perfect is a Preference, Not! a possibility.”
― Devin Murphy
“A referred brand is a preferred brand, and a preferred brand is a referred brand”
― Bernard Kelvin Clive
It is clear that preferences are personal issues and rarely suit the general public. This is the main reason why all people must compromise during their life. In a social gathering, the individual opinion and rarities can be a danger to the group. Group and personal preferences can vary considerably. But to age well one should be willing and in acceptance of the fact that in social situations the personal preferences play the second role.
Explanations of human cooperation and social preferences
Cooperation among unrelated individuals, who do not share direct genetic interests in offspring, is uncommon in nature but ubiquitous in human societies. The capacity to cooperate in large groups with non-relatives has enabled humans to develop markets and trade networks, wage war, build public works and create social institutions. Human cooperation is regulated by social norms that establish standards for how people should behave in particular situations, and strengthened by punitive sanctions against those that violate social norms. Cooperation is also supported by prosocial emotions, such as compassion and guilt, and altruistic social preferences, including a concern for the welfare of others and a preference for equity, which mediate conflicts between self-interest and altruism.
Derived human capacities for group-level cooperation, and the evolution of altruistic social preferences, have been linked to both the emergence of human interdependence and the coevolution of genetic and cultural adaptations. Humans rely on culturally transmitted information to a much greater extent than other animals do, and this is clearly a key to our success as a species.
Food preferences: The ability to perceive flavors begins in utero with the development and early functioning of the gustatory and olfactory systems. Because both amniotic fluid and breast milk contain molecules derived from the mother’s diet, learning about flavors in foods begins in the womb and during early infancy. This early experience serves as the foundation for the continuing development of food preferences across the lifespan and is shaped by the interplay of biological, social, and environmental factors. Shortly after birth, young infants show characteristic taste preferences: sweet and umami elicit positive responses; bitter and sour elicit negative responses.
These taste preferences may reflect a biological drive towards foods that are calorie- and protein-dense and an aversion to foods that are poisonous or toxic. Early likes and dislikes are influenced by these innate preferences but are also modifiable. Repeated exposure to novel or disliked foods that occur in a positive, supportive environment may promote the acceptance of and eventually a preference for those foods. Alternatively, children who are pressured to eat certain foods may show a decreased preference for those foods later on. With increasing age, the influence of a number of factors, such as peers and food availability, continue to mold food preferences and eating behaviors.
Each individual’s unique preferences and aversions are based on predisposed biological tendencies but are further cultivated and modified through experiential learning. Available data suggest that young children are biologically primed to prefer and consume foods that are sweet, salty, and savory, as well as flavors paired with energy density. Fortunately, preferences are malleable and are shaped in response to a number of social and environmental factors. Preferences are a strong driver of dietary intake in both children and adults
Female mate preferences
Females place a high preference for a mate that is physically attractive. The more physically attractive a man is, the higher the fitness level, and the better the genes supposed to be. Women are attracted to more masculine traits (e.g. strong jawline, a more muscular body. These preferences count for equal age couples. When age differences grow, female preferences change into the economic stability of the male over physical attraction. Female prefer a singular partnership.
Male mate preferences
Males have different preferences than females and are, most of the time, not seeking a singular partnership. Male preferences are;
Waist Hip Ratio (WHR), that is the relationship between waist circumference and hip circumference, as it has been suggested as a marker of age, reproductive status, and health. It was found that women with a WHR of 0.7 were rated the most attractive, youthful, fertile and healthy when compared to other WHR’s. Women with large breasts and small hips are rated as more attractive than women with small breasts and small hips.
Skin condition has been found to be an honest indicator of sex hormones which may indicate levels of fertility. Skin tone has also been found to be an indicator of youthfulness as well as research showing the first links between estradiol and female facial redness, in which as a woman reaches the peak of her ovulatory cycle her facial redness increases.
Males show a preference for neotenous or youthful looking features in women, such as; big eyes, a small nose, and full lips. These features act as a signal of fertility as they are caused by high estrogen and low testosterone.
Item preferences play an important role in maintaining the happiness of individuals, especially in materialistic cultures. Providing individuals with the items they crave can be an easy route to enhancing their happiness.