In this particular instance, your assertion was that it be human nature.
I think I prefer the accusation of sloppy language over that of inappropriate projection, however inevitable it may be! :-)
What I meant to say was that I observe people acting in a particular way. I hold up my hand to incorrectly tagging this as human nature — as you say, it’s social mores at best, and a mindless habit at worst.
I believe that observation can be made without any projection: the point is not why people prefer getting a bottle of wine over getting a £20 note as a gift, but the observation that they act as if it is to be preferred.