Paper in Food Quality and Preference
  • Walter, F. and Boakes, R. A. (2009). Long-term range effects in hedonic ratings. Food Quality and Preference, 20, 440-449.

    Judgments of individual stimuli can depend on the range of stimuli in which they are included. Such range, or contrast, effects have been studied extensively for judgments made within a single session. The present study tested whether stimulus range effects for hedonic judgments might carry-over from one session to another. In two experiments participants evaluated cordials for strength relative to ideal in separate sessions up to one week apart. In Session 1 half of the participants evaluated a range of high concentration cordials (High Group), while half evaluated a low concentration range (Low Group); in Session 2 all participants evaluated the same low concentration range. Both experiments revealed long-term range effects, in that the High Group maintained a higher ideal cordial strength in Session 2. In addition, Experiment 1 showed that the effect is not influenced by inter-session interval, while Experiment 2 revealed that it can transfer across cordials of different color and flavor. This systematic demonstration of long-term range effects has important implications for any evaluation study using multiple sessions.