How the Numbers on Your Rating Scale Influence Taste Perception and Willingness to Pay

Antonia Mantonakis, Brock University, Canada
Norbert Schwarz, University of Michigan, USA
Amanda Wudarzewski, Brock University, Canada
Carolyn Yoon, University of Michigan, USA
Sensory scientists often assume that consumers are rational decision makers (Köster 2003), and that sensory evaluation is not susceptible to bias. We investigated how the numeric values of the rating scale on which sensory evaluations are reported can influence the interpretation of the scale labels (Schwarz et al. 1991; Schwarz 1994), and hence the encoded sensory experience. We observe that the numeric values of the scale bias tasters’ perceptions and encoding of sensory attributes with downstream effects on willingness to pay for the product.
[ to cite ]:
Antonia Mantonakis, Norbert Schwarz, Amanda Wudarzewski, and Carolyn Yoon (2010) ,"How the Numbers on Your Rating Scale Influence Taste Perception and Willingness to Pay", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 183-186 .