“M” is 21 year old male student at the University of Southern California, where he is a Junior studying Animation and minoring in Philosophy. M is originally from the outskirts of New York state where he describes himself as living in a rural area. He described himself as going to a high school of ~60 students, where cliche formation was rare as students could ‘jump from social group to social group’. He describes his parents as ‘hippies’ that were very relaxed in their parenting style as well as their personal approach towards life. He is of Irish descent on both sides and describes this aspect of his life as very active in his life.
“So I hated eating brussel sprouts when I was a little guy, I would throw them at my parents and stuff. So my parents told them they were just baby cabbages so I would eat em’. I like cabbage, but I didn’t like Brussel sprouts.
Me: Did it work?
M: Oh yeah.
Me: You actually thought you were eating baby cabbage for awhile?
M: Oh yeah, they’re like exactly the same, I didn’t have any idea there was something to differentiate them. I still think they might be baby cabbage (laughs jokingly)
Me: When did you start to catch on?
M: Probably when I was about 7 or 8, but I ended up liking brussel sprouts anyways.
Me: So your parents actually tricked you into liking brussel sprouts? That’s pretty elaborate.
M: Well, maybe. I don’t know…. if they hadn’t told me they were baby cabbages, and I just waited until I was seven or eight and tried them again, If I’d still like them. ”
As “M” was pretty well aware, being told that brussel sprouts were baby cabbage forced him into a sort of cognitive dissonance where he changed him preferences to accommodate his liking of cabbage. As he was not able to identify that his parents were doing it at the time, he ate them. Though he isn’t sure about it, “M” does entertain the possibility that his preference to brussel sprouts may be a result of this trick earlier in his childhood.