On liking and disliking

This TED talk goes back a couple of years, but I heard it for the first time on NPR this weekend and was fascinated.

The speaker is Yale professor of psychology Paul Bloom. His talk is entitled “The Origins of Pleasure.”  

Our like or dislike of many different things hinges critically on our beliefs about the origins of those things.  

• The same piece of meat tastes differently depending on whether we believe it is beef or rat.

• An electric shock is more painful when we think it is being administered with malicious intent.

• Children think a carrot tastes better if we can persuade them it came from McDonald’s.

• If you think you are drinking expensive wine, it tastes better than if you think it is cheap wine.

Bloom presents a litany of intriguing stories that relate to unconscious thinking and framing.