Happy hour? A preliminary study of the effect of induced joviality and sadness on beer perception
Desira B., Watson S., Van Doorn G., Timora J., Spence C.
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Our emotions influence our perception. In order to determine whether emotion influences the perception of beer, 32 participants watched either a scene from the movie Wall-E to induce joviality, or a short clip from the Shawshank Redemption to induce sadness. The participants were then required to sample up to 250 mL of Yenda Pale Ale beer and rate it on a variety of taste and flavor characteristics (e.g., bitterness), before completing the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule-X (PANAS-X). The data were analyzed using Bayesian t-tests and Null Hypothesis Significance Tests (NHSTs). After applying conservative corrections for multiple comparisons, NHSTs failed to reach statistical significance. However, the effect sizes suggested that inducing joviality, relative to inducing sadness, resulted in the beer being rated as (a) tasting more pleasant, (b) tasting sweeter, and (c) being of higher quality. Following the induction of joviality, participants were also willing to pay more for the beer. The Bayesian analyses indicated that induced emotion can influence flavor perception for complex taste stimuli. The effect sizes and Bayesian analyses are interpreted in terms of Feelings-as-Information theory. These preliminary findings can tentatively be applied to real-world environments such as venues that serve and/or market alcohol.