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The Yuck mechanism.

  1. Jul 3, 2003 #1
    The "Yuck" mechanism.

    What is it that makes one person (me, in this particular instance) detest the very thought of green beans, while another person - of very similar genetic makeup (my sister) - absolutely loves them? What is it that makes me completely sick to my stomach, when I see the maple syrup (that we left in the pantry for WAY too long) over-run by fungus that I would be fascinated to study about in a book? What is the "yuck" mechanism?

    Note: I know the evolutionary advantage of such a mechanism, so I know the "why", it's the "what" and the "how" that are beyond my knowledge.

    Any/all comments on the subject are definitely appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 3, 2003 #2
    i was wondering the very same thing the other day!! in my driver's ed class (in which today is the last day!) we were watching Red Asfault and one person threw up and another fainted! i cannot really understand where they're coming from, because i feel nothing while watching those videos. i guess when everyone says that the youth has been de-sensitived, they're telling the truth!

    oh, and i suppose it must have something to do with enviournment.
  4. Jul 5, 2003 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    Re: The "Yuck" mechanism.

    The short answer could be in part that it is a case of over stimulus. While once person can tolerate one level of stimulus, another has a larger response to the same stimulus.

    I think a several other things come into play. For one, perhaps the density of taste buds differs from person to person. I know that some people have more sensitive taste buds than other people [called super-tasters I think]. We have several types of these sensors, so one can easily imagine variations in the ratios of these tasters. Also, psychological factors come into play. I once ate a bologna sandwich when I was sick. The sandwich made it worse and came right back at me. I couldn't eat a bologna sandwich for years! Also, I once had some bad swordfish. Since I had never eaten swordfish, I didn't realize that it was bad until I got to the really rotten part. Before this little episode I loved fish. Today, ten years later, I can still barely tolerate fish. Finally, our tastes change with age. Since flavors become less intense as we age, we tend to like foods with stronger flavors [such as green beans] as we get older. However, I still don't like green beans and I'm 42! But they don't taste as bad as they used to.
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