Any Designed Environment

Music While Dining (09-04-19)

How does music heard while dining influence the eating experience?  Reinoso-Carvalho and colleagues report that “two contrasting music tracks (positive vs negative emotion) were presented to consumers while tasting beer. . . . Participants liked the beer more, and rated it as tasting sweeter, when listening to music associated with positive emotion. The same beer was rated as more bitter, with higher alcohol content, and as having more body, when the participants listened to music associated with negative emotion.

Sounds and Experiences (09-03-19)

Lin and teammates investigated multi-sensory experiences involving sound.  In a lab, they probed “the effects of environmental sounds (park, food court, fast food restaurant, cafe, and bar sounds) on the perception of chocolate gelato (specifically, sweet, bitter, milky, creamy, cocoa, roasted, and vanilla notes). . . . The results revealed that bitterness, roasted, and cocoa notes were more evident when the bar, fast food, and food court sounds were played. Meanwhile, sweetness was cited more in the early mastication [chewing] period when listening to park and café sounds.”

Background Complexity: Implications (08-30-19)

Visual complexity is frequently studied, and previous research on this topic has been discussed several times in Research Design Connections.  A study conducted by Wang and team confirms the benefits of designing in moderate levels of visual complexity.  They learned that for web design “Product images with higher background complexity attract greater attention. . . . Higher background complexity distracts more attention away from the focal product. . . . Moderate background complexity can best promote product information processing. . . .

Plating and Taste (08-29-19)

How food is plated influences how it is perceived; this finding may be applicable in settings that don’t involve those tested. Researchers evaluated “how the plating (i.e., visual composition) of a dish influences people's hedonic preferences and their perception of portion size. . . .  the centrally-plated dessert was rated as a larger portion than the offset version of exactly the same dish. The food was also liked more and the participants/diners were willing to pay more for it when . . .  centrally arranged.

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