Effect of temperature and expectations on liking for beverages
Three experiments investigated the influence of expectation on liking ratings of beverages at different temperatures. The first confirmed the general belief that people like certain beverages at certain familiar temperatures and dislike them at others. In the second experiment, subjects tasted and rated how much they liked four beverages (chicken bouillon, red wine, fruit punch and water) at three different temperatures (hot, room temperature, and cold) with their eyes closed (beverages not identified by the experimenter) and with their eyes open (beverages identified by the experimenter). They then rated how much they thought they would like these same beverages plus a number of new beverages at the three temperatures. Subjects rated the tastes of the beverages at unfamiliar temperatures (e.g., cold bouillon) when tasting them better than they thought they would. However, even after a few opportunities to taste a beverage at an unfamiliar temperature, expectations about its taste did not change. Experiment 3 successfully altered liking ratings of beverages by changing expectations concerning the temperature at which an unfamiliar beverage is typically consumed. The results argue for an important role for culture-based expectations in determining preferred temperatures for foods.