Journal Club

-Are you interested in learning more about current psychology research?
-Do you like to hang out with psychology majors?
-Do you want to get better at understanding psychology journal articles?

Then come join us at the Monthly Psychology Club Journal Club!

Each month, we'll read a short (< 7 page) journal article from Psychological Science or the like and discuss it at our Journal Club meeting. In Spring 2015, Journal Club meets on a Thursday in February, March, & April from 4:30-5:30pm, Centenary Square 210.

Next Meeting: Thursday, April 9th, 2015, 4:30-5:30pm, Centenary Square 210

Assessing the Influence of the Multisensory Environment on the Whisky Drinking Experience
Carlos Velasco, Russell Jones, Scott King, and Charles Spence

Abstract: Flavor perception depends not only on the multisensory integration of the sensory inputs associated with the food or drink itself, but also on the multisensory attributes (or atmosphere) of the environment in which the food/drink is tasted. We report two experiments designed to investigate whether multisensory atmospheric cues could be used to influence the perception of a glass of whisky (that is, a complex but familiar product). The pre-test (experiment 1) was conducted in the laboratory and involved a sample of 18 participants (12 females, 5 males, and 1 who did not specify gender), while the main study (experiment 2) was conducted at a large purpose-designed whisky-tasting event held in London, and enrolled a sample of 441 participants (165 female, 250 male, and 26 who failed to specify their gender). In the main experiment, participants were exposed to three different multisensory atmospheres/rooms, and rated various attributes of the whisky (specifically the nose, the taste/flavor, and the aftertaste) in each room. Analysis of the data showed that each multisensory atmosphere/room exerted a significant effect on participants’ ratings of the attributes that the atmosphere/room had been designed to emphasize (namely grassiness, sweetness, and woodiness). Specifically, the whisky was rated as being significantly grassier in the Nose (‘grassy’) room, as being significantly sweeter in the Taste (‘sweet’) room, and as having a significantly woodier aftertaste in the Finish (‘woody’) room. Overall, the participants preferred the whisky when they tasted it in the Finish room. Taken together, these results further our understanding of the significant influence that a multisensory atmosphere can have on people’s experience and/or enjoyment of a drink (in this case, a glass of whisky). The implications of these results for the future design of multisensory experiences are discussed.

If you have questions, please email email in the Psychology Department.

Wondering what we've read previously? Look here.