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Title: Heart rate, skin conductance, and explicit responses to juice samples with varying levels of expectation (dis) confirmation
Author(s): L. Verastegui-Tena, H. van Trijp and B. Piqueras-Fiszman
Journal: Food Quality and Preference
Year: 2019
Volume: 71
Pages: 320-331
DOI: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2018.08.011
File URL: /vuams-pubs/Heart rate, skin conductance, and expli...pdf
Keywords: Autonomic nervous system, Heart rate, Skin conductance, Taste disconfirmation, Expectations
Abstract: Disconfirmations between consumers’expectations and a product’s actual properties can lead to different re-sponses in consumers. Most researchers study these responses focusing on thefinal judgement of the product.However, looking at consumers’physiological responses like those of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) couldhelp complement what is known about consumer reactions andfinal response to disconfirmed expectations. Thisstudy evaluated how ANS responses change when tasting juice samples that were as expected, that differedslightly, or that differed greatly from manipulated expectations and whether these responses vary from thoseobtained when there is no manipulation of expectations.Eighty-six participants tasted fruit and vegetable juices in two separate sessions. They were divided in twoconditions. In Condition A, expectations were manipulated by showing participants the image of an ingredientand then providing them with a juice whoseflavour was as expected, differed slightly, or differed greatly fromthat of the image. In Condition B, each juice wasfirst tasted without explicit information shown beforehand andthe image of the ingredient was shown afterwards. The images were the same as in Condition A. Heart rate andskin conductance were measured. To confirm that participants perceived confirmations and large and smalldisconfirmations when tasting the juices, they rated the samples in different sensory properties before and aftertasting them. Results from most of the sensory ratings, except sourness and taste intensity, showed that parti-cipants perceived the designed confirmation and disconfirmation of expectations accordingly. Regarding ANSresponses, heart rate had a larger increase during the second session than during thefirst. Skin conductanceresponses increased in Condition A but decreased in Condition B. In conclusion, our design managed to createconfirmations and varying levels of disconfirmations. ANS responses did not capture them but seemed to capturefactors like attention and the orientation response.

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