Saturday, March 22, 2008

$90 Wine Tastes Better Than The Same Wine at $10

In a study that could make marketing managers and salespeople rub their hands with glee, scientists have used brain-scanning technology to shed new light on the old adage, "You get what you pay for."

Researchers from the California Institute of Technology and Stanford's business school have directly seen that the sensation of pleasantness that people experience when tasting wine is linked directly to its price. And that's true even when, unbeknownst to the test subjects, it's exactly the same Cabernet Sauvignon with a dramatically different price tag.

Specifically, the researchers found that with the higher priced wines, more blood and oxygen is sent to a part of the brain called the medial orbitofrontal cortex, whose activity reflects pleasure. Brain scanning using a method called functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) showed evidence for the researchers' hypothesis that "changes in the price of a product can influence neural computations associated with experienced pleasantness," they said.
via CNET


WestEnder said...

What's interesting is that both curves start out essentially the same, and then the $10 curve goes down. It's as if they liked the wine upon tasting but then another region of the brain convinced them that they shouldn't.

Fat Knowledge said...


Good point. After 7 seconds it appears that the $10 wine people are actually less well off than they were before drinking the wine.

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