Choosing from an optimal number of options makes curry and tea more palatable

Takuya Onuma, Nobuyuki Sakai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies have shown that affording people choice increases their satisfaction with subsequent experiences: the choice effect. However, it remains unclear whether the choice effect occurs in the hedonic response to foods and beverages. Thus, the present study aimed to demonstrate the choice effect on the palatability perception. Ready-to-serve curries and tea were presented as options in Experiment 1 and Experiment 2, respectively. Experiment 1 failed to demonstrate significant differences among palatability ratings for a curry chosen by participants and for a curry chosen by the experimenter. However, Experiment 2 demonstrated that participants perceived a tea chosen by themselves as more palatable than another tea chosen by the experimenter, regardless of the fact that the two cups of tea were identical. Intriguingly, the effect was obtained only when the number of options was neither too small nor too big. These results indicate that the exercise of choice from an optimal number of options, even when the choice is ostensible and illusory, makes people perceive their chosen foods and beverages as being more palatable. Some implications for the domain of food business are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8050145
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May


  • Choice
  • Curry
  • Palatability perception
  • Tea
  • The number of options

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science


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