University of Arkansas
Predicting Consumer Liking and Preference Based on Emotional Responses and Sensory Perception: A Study with Basic Taste Solutions
Abstract: Traditional methods of sensory testing focus on capturing information about multisensory perceptions, but do not necessarily measure emotions elicited by these food and beverages. The objective of this study was to develop an optimum model of predicting overall liking (rating) and preference (choice) based on taste intensity and evoked emotions. One hundred and two participants (51 females) were asked to taste water, sucrose, citric acid, salt, and caffeine solutions. Their emotional responses toward each sample were measured by a combination of a self-reported emotion questionnaire (EsSense25), facial expressions, and autonomic nervous system (ANS) responses. In addition, their perceived intensity and overall liking were measured. After a break, participants re-tasted the samples and ranked them according to their preference. The results showed that emotional responses measured using self-reported emotion questionnaire and facial expression analysis along with perceived taste intensity performed best to predict overall liking as well as preference, while ANS measures showed limited contribution. Contrary to some previous research, this study demonstrated that not only negative emotions, but also positive ones could help predict consumer liking and preference. In addition, since there were subtle differences in the prediction models of overall liking and preference, both aspects should be taken into account to understand consumer behavior. In conclusion, combination of evoked emotions along with sensory perception could help better understand consumer acceptance as well as preference toward basic taste solutions.
- Consumer behavior
- Sensory perception