- posted 12 years ago
A study found that the enjoyment of a wine was directly
proportional to the price that was told to the participants, regardless
of actual price.
The news item is here:
The article itself (requires academic access or subscription) is here:
In short, they used 20 subjects, students at CalTech, that said
that they liked red wine and drank at least occasionally. They gave them
3 wines to try while in a fMRI machine - a $5, a $35, and a $90, but
presented them as 5 different wines: the $5 was presented as $5 and $45;
the $90 was presented as $10 and $90.
According to the fMRI, the subjects /really/ experienced pleasure
proportional to the price tag; they liked the $5 wine, when presented as
being $45, better than the $90 one when presented as $10, and better
than the $35. They liked the $5 when presented as $5 least, and the $90
when presented as $90 - most.
A very interesting and well done study, but my main critique is the
choice of test subjects. They were apparently quite unsophisticated wine
drinkers, because in the control experiment (where no price information
was provided) they actually liked the cheapest wine the best - no doubt
in my mind that it was the sweetest of the lot.
I'm very curious what the outcome of the study would be, if
conducted properly - that is, with test subject recruited from the
readership of this group. ;)