Everyone knows his or her favourite colour, the foods we most enjoy, and which season of The Sopranos deserves the most stars on Netflix. But what does it really mean when we like something? How do we decide what's good? Is it something biological? What is the role of our personal experiences in shaping our tastes? And how do businesses make use of this information? Comprehensively researched and singularly insightful, You May Also Like delves deep into psychology, marketing and neuroscience to answer these complex and fascinating questions. From the tangled underpinnings of our food choices, to the discrete dynamics of the pop charts and our playlists, to our non-stop procession of 'thumbs' and 'likes' and 'stars,' to our insecurity before unfamiliar works of art, the book explores how we form our preferences - and how they shape us. It explains how difficult it is, even for experts, to pinpoint exactly what makes something good or enjoyable, and how the success of companies like Netflix, Spotify and Yelp! depends on the complicated task of predicting what we will enjoy. Like Traffic, this book takes us on a fascinating and consistently surprising intellectual journey that helps us better understand how we perceive and appreciate the world around us.
Tom Vanderbilt writes on design, technology, science, and culture for many publications, including Wired, Slate, The London Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, Artforum, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine and Popular Science. He is contributing editor to award-winning design magazines I.D. and Print, contributing editor to Business Week Online, and contributing writer of the popular blog Design Observer. He is the author of three previous books: Trafic: Why we drive the way we do (and what it says about us), Survival City: Adventures Among the Ruins of Atomic America and The Sneaker Book.
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