Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

We report on the results of a series of large-scale computer-based preference tests (conducted at The Science Museum in London and online) that evaluated the widely-held belief that food should be plated in odd rather than even numbers of elements in order to maximize the visual appeal of a dish. Participants were presented with pairs of plates of food showing odd versus even number of seared scallops (3 vs. 4; 1-6 in Experiment 7), arranged in a line, as a polygon or randomly, on either a round or square white plate. No consistent evidence for a preference for odd or even numbers of food items was found, thus questioning the oft-made assertion that odd number of items on a plate looks better than an even number. The implications of these results are discussed.

Original publication

DOI

10.7717/peerj.1526

Type

Journal article

Journal

PeerJ

Publication Date

2016

Volume

4

Keywords

Eye appeal, Food aesthetics, Food liking, Gastrophysics, Mechanical Turk, Odd vs. even, Plating, Prolific academic, Visual presentation