Friday 7 June 2024

What People Say They Want 3

@DrJenIzaakson The chasm between what people say they want vs what people actually want.

She wanted to make it clear to me that no woman wants to see her husband cry, even though women say men should be more emotional. That’s just what they saaay. Women want strong men. (Via Twitter)

@NatalieKelda (writer): People say they want original ideas but most prefer the same thing just slightly repackaged... It's so sad bc agents and editors keep saying they want unique/different stories but then go "No, not like that" so people from a different cultural background are forced to water down and Anglicise their story to a point they lose their distinct voice.

And while people around the globe think they like spicy food, Mexico is the only country that really does, so chilli Doritos have to be made spicier there. Meanwhile, she says, “even the tiniest level of heat” is too much for Russia. (Crisp flavour creator, Guardian Dec 2023. Conversely, you’ll be safe eating “hot as Hell” food in the US.)

In a 2020 McKinsey U.S. consumer sentiment survey, more than 60% of respondents said they’d pay more for a product with sustainable packaging. A recent study by NielsenIQ found that 78% of U.S. consumers say a sustainable lifestyle is important to them. Yet, ask any CPG executive if this matches actual sales figures for these products and services. ( Presumably “...and you’ll get the answer ‘no’.”)

@FABRICIONAKATA: 70% of straight women say they want a partner over 6ft but only 15% are partnered with a man over 6ft tall (in econ we call this revealed preferences). (In common sense, we call it “availability”.)

@SLCPaladin: 72% of households SAY they want a walkable community, but only 22% actually live in one.

And then there is the more meta problem of personal qualities people say they want to find in others versus what they really want - and what they really mean. Be spontaneous – no, not like that.

And you can’t get much more meta than this: 

@theotheroliver: Do you guys think there is such a thing as an intentional disconnect between what people want and what people say they want? Like "communicate!" etc but more like a lot of people want to get something while specifically not asking for it or denying that they want it? (Now I want you to be totally honest...)

@JennaHollan Many people are rationalising, not rational. They say they want honest communication but feel attacked and take everything personally if you actually offer it.

@sgbrownlow Most of what people say they want is what they believe others think they should want. Most people don't want what they need, or even what their soul cries out for. They desperately want to fit in. So they play it safe, asking for only what they imagine others will approve of them having, determining that through context clues and mind reading.

@sam_d_1995 The problem with "just listen to what people say they want" when it comes to housing and transportation policy is that most people don't know what they want, and even more people want things that are inherently contradictory (you can't have more housing and less development!).

Nice girls. Men say other men should marry nice girls, and that girls should be nice and marry nice men and have nice children. But they go for the painted ladies. And they don’t want to get married.

A year ago, we were in the middle of a General Election campaign. And there was one message I heard loud and clear on the doorstep: We want things to be different. (David Cameron, 2011)

@spectator British couples are having just 1.6 children. However, when you ask them how many they want, the answer is 2.3. 

@Botanygeek Pretty much every ‘heritage’ / ‘heirloom’ tomato you buy in fancy stores… They are usually a mix of weird shapes and colours bred in the last few decades to match what we like to *think* oldy worldy tomatoes were like.

@DelLuna25 People say they want diverse adult animation but then throw a fit any time we get it and it attracts an audience that isn't cishet white college dudes. (He’s talking about anime porn.)

@KebidooO This is a black Muslim man taking public office at a major metropolitan before he’s even 50 and seems to have a clear realistic objective. Why is he getting so much hate when this is what people said they wanted – a young diverse government?

By Heck sausage maker ditches meat-free products due to lack of demand. (Daily Mail 2023-05-05)

The crowning ambition in my life is to be able to be with another person. That’s what we all want. We say we want world peace… (Sue Perkins, Times, 2013)

Spontaneity is a virtue that we wish to have ascribed to us but don’t actually want to act out. (Steven Poole, paraphrase)

Americans like laundry products that are advertised as smelling of lavender, but actually smell of vanilla. (Harper’s Magazine)

What is it about late capitalism that allows a profitable literary industry to be built on telling us we should appreciate simple pleasures, get back in touch with nature, express ourselves creatively, attend to human relationships rather than material things, come to terms with our mortality, and so on? (Sam Leith, Guardian, 2012)

People say they don’t like laugh tracks, but they prefer programmes with laugh tracks.

Everybody says they want to be different. They even claim they ARE different. But they’re very surprised when they meet someone who really is different. They’re convinced you’re normal underneath.

People say they like subtle colours in the garden, like pale pink old roses. But in garden centres, it’s the brightly coloured flowers that fly off the shelves.

More here, and links to the rest.

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