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Choosing from an Optimal Number of Options Makes Curry and Tea More Palatable

1
Department of Management and Business, Faculty of Humanity-oriented Science and Engineering, Kindai University, Kayanomori 11-6, Iizuka, Fukuoka 820-8555, Japan
2
Department of Psychology, Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University, Kawauchi 27-1, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8576, Japan
3
Multimodal Cognitive System Laboratory, Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University, Katahira 2-1-1, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8577, Japan
4
Advanced Institute for Yotta Informatics, Tohoku University, Kawauchi 27-1, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8576, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2019, 8(5), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8050145
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 21 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 29 April 2019
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Abstract

Previous studies have shown that affording people choice increases their satisfaction with subsequent experiences: the choice effect. However, it remains unclear whether the choice effect occurs in the hedonic response to foods and beverages. Thus, the present study aimed to demonstrate the choice effect on the palatability perception. Ready-to-serve curries and tea were presented as options in Experiment 1 and Experiment 2, respectively. Experiment 1 failed to demonstrate significant differences among palatability ratings for a curry chosen by participants and for a curry chosen by the experimenter. However, Experiment 2 demonstrated that participants perceived a tea chosen by themselves as more palatable than another tea chosen by the experimenter, regardless of the fact that the two cups of tea were identical. Intriguingly, the effect was obtained only when the number of options was neither too small nor too big. These results indicate that the exercise of choice from an optimal number of options, even when the choice is ostensible and illusory, makes people perceive their chosen foods and beverages as being more palatable. Some implications for the domain of food business are also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: choice; palatability perception; the number of options; curry; tea choice; palatability perception; the number of options; curry; tea
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Onuma, T.; Sakai, N. Choosing from an Optimal Number of Options Makes Curry and Tea More Palatable. Foods 2019, 8, 145.

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