Is there a term for assuming whatever you're used to is best?

This can apply to pretty much everything.

If you grow up with Miracle Whip, you’ll probably think it’s better that mayonnaise.

If you live in a capitalist country, you probably think capitalism is best. Ditto communism and every other flavor of economics.

Ditto again with forms of government. Americans are absolutely in love with democracy, though they’ve understandably not tried anything else. People in dictatorships often, if asked, say they prefer it that way. Constitutional monarchy, same thing.

And then there’s sports teams, and school pride, and state pride, and national pride… the idea of school pride always fascinated me. “Aren’t you proud to go to Townsville High?” “It’s the only high school I’ve ever been to, so…”

It seems like, in most things, when we think something is the best we’ve not actually experienced anything else. It’s “the best” because it’s “mine.”

I’m not interested in discussing which of any of the above are the best (I posit none) I’m interested in whether this has been studied and has a name I can throw around when I’m on my next misanthropic bender.

Small ‘c’ conservatism.


Fear of the dark.


Sorry. I have no self-control.

Well that’s what you’re used to, huh? :wink:

argumentum ad antiquitatem

Base rate fallacy - ignoring available statistical data in favor of particulars.
Choice-supportive bias — the tendency to remember one’s choices as better than they actually were.
Confirmation bias — the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions.
Mere exposure effect — the tendency for people to express undue liking for things merely because they are familiar with them.
Status quo bias — the tendency for people to like things to stay relatively the same (see also loss aversion, endowment effect, and system justification).



Elendir’s got a good one with “parochial”.

I think “provincialism” or acting in a “provincial” manner is often very close in meaning to what the OP is asking for.


  1. Sociology. the belief in the inherent superiority of one’s own ethnic group or culture.
  2. a tendency to view alien groups or cultures from the perspective of one’s own.


The two words I thought of were ethnocentrism and xenophobia. Neither exactly defines what you’re talking about, but they’re in the same ballpark.

Parochial. I use the word a lot when explaining things to Americans. Not so much when overseas, since most people are naturally more familiar with foreign customs, products, etc.


It’s not just a word that means “anti-feminism”…

“Complacent” sort of captures the flavor of it, too.

Human nature. Yes, even Democrats.

How about “reactionary”? As in, someone who is extremely opposed to change.


I don’t think that’s quite what he means- they’re not exactly opposed to change, they’re opposed to the thought that other people’s stuff might be better.

For me, the classic example is non-native New Yorkers; people who move from Iowa to Manhattan and never visit anyplace else in between… OR people who move from New York City to someplace else okay, Florida, and never visit anywhere else in between.

They all invariably think New York is the greatest city in the world and nowhere else on earth could possibly compare… even though their experience of other cities is limited to what they’ve seen on TV.