What is Beautiful Tastes Good: Visual Cues and Taste Evaluation
By: Brian Wansink, Collin Payne and James E Painter
The goal of the original study was to see if visual cues directly influence taste evaluations through a confirmation bias. It aims to understand if "goodness" cues of food from plating and presentation affect a person's evaluation of its value.
175 students at a large university were approached in the cafeteria and asked to sample a free brownie and fill out a survey
We tabled in the Alliot Lobby for 2 hours and asked students passing by if they would like to have a free sample of a brownie and answer a quick questionnaire for us. We ended up with 33 participants
Each participant was given one brownie which was plated and presented in one of three ways: napkin, paper plate, and a glass plate with garnish
Each participant was asked to fill out a questionnaire to assess their opinions on the taste, texture, quality and how much they were willing to pay
Between every 5-10 participants we switched out the way our brownie was presented; a napkin, a paper plate and a glass plate with powdered sugar
After sampling the brownie each participant filled out a questionnaire assessing the taste, texture, quality and price willing to pay
The researchers suggested that the plating and presentation of the brownie will positively affect the "post-consumption sensory experiences of the food"
In order to test their hypothesis, the post-consumption evaluation (willingness to pay) was submitted to a between subjects one-way MANOVA (multivariate analyses of variance)
A Tukey's HSD post-hoc analysis was performed in order to understand the significant differences in price lie as a function of presentation style.
We hypothesized the same thing as the original study: that the presentation of the brownie would positively affect the post-consumption sensory experiences of the food.
We followed the same route as the original study and ran a between subjects one-way MANOVA to test this hypothesis with presentation style as a single factor with three levels (napkin, paper plate and glass plate with garnish).
We also ran a Tukey's post-hoc test in order to find any significant differences in post consumption evaluation for each dependent variable as a function of presentation style
There was a significant increase in perceived taste, texture, and quality as a function of plating and presentation. (Wilk's lambda= .024, p<.001).
The post-hc analyses found that for the dependent variable "taste" there was a significant difference found between presentation of a brownie on a napkin and glass plate with garnish (p<.001) and a brownie presented on a paper plate and glass plate with garnish (p<.01). For the dependent variable of "texture" there was a significant difference between a brownie on a napkin and a glass plate with garnish (p<.05) and for "quality" there were significant differences revealed for a brownie on a napkin and paper plate (p<.05) and a brownie on a napkin and glass plate with garnish (p=.001)