People think food tastes better if it costs more
A diner's perception of how his or her meal tastes may be skewed by how much it costs, according to a new study at Cornell University.
Scientists recruited 139 people to dine at a high-quality Italian buffet and they were given the option of paying either $4 or $8 for all-you-can-eat meal, when they were finished, they were asked to evaluate the restaurant and taste of the food on a nine-point scale.
The results showed that the diners who paid $8 rated the food as 11 percent better than did the diners who paid $4. The group that paid less also reported having a less enjoyable experience overall. The price of the buffet did not, however, affect how much the diners ate.
The findings suggest that psychological aspects of taste can affect how consumers perceive the quality of a meal. The researchers said this could have implications for restaurants--it may turn out that cutting prices could negatively affect how customers felt about meals there.