If you could snap your fingers and all your tastes and preferences would change overnight, would you do it? In my last post, I considered two kinds of answer to this question, but neither seemed satisfying, because neither gave us any reason not to make the change.
Classic theories of choice posit that our preferences are transitive. But in a recent blog, I wrote about how sacred values have the puzzling feature of violating transitivity. So how should we interpret the fact some people seem to violate transitivity, when it comes to sacred values?
Let’s say you could snap your fingers and all your various tastes and aesthetic preferences changed overnight. You would appreciate different foods, you would like different books, you would prefer different colors and clothing styles and jokes. Would you do it? I’m guessing your answer is ‘no.’
Classic theories of choice posit that our preferences are transitive. So, for example, if you prefer the apple to the orange and the orange to the banana, then you’ll also prefer the apple to the banana. Now one interesting question in psychology is the extent to which human preferences are actually transitive.