Research: Why expensive wine is supposed to taste much better

Research: Why expensive wine is supposed to taste much better

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Niece better taste but the brand and the price make the better taste experience
The fact that identical products are valued differently due to higher prices has long been known as the "marketing placebo effect". The price alone has an effect due to the properties attributed to it: »Quality has its price«. So far, what exactly is going on in our brains was unknown. A team of researchers from the INSEAD Business School and the University of Bonn wanted to know and sent 30 study participants into the MRI scanner.

The wine tasting while lying down - with the help of a tube - was carried out on the brain scanner of the Life & Brain Center at the University of Bonn. "As expected, the test subjects stated that the wine with the higher price tasted better than an apparently cheaper one," said Professor Hilke Plassmann from INSEAD Business School.

What showed up in the tube: At higher prices, especially the frontal brain and also the ventral striatum were activated more. While the frontal brain appears to be particularly involved in the price comparison and thus in the expectation, the ventral striatum is part of the reward and motivation system. "The reward system is activated much more strongly at higher prices and obviously enhances the taste experience in this way," explains Professor Bernd Weber from the Center for Economics and Neuroscience (CENs) at the University of Bonn. Fortunately, the marketing placebo effect also has its limits: "If, for example, a trough was offered for € 100, this effect would not be foreseeable," said Weber.

For the consumer information, the exciting question arises how to become less receptive to such placebo effects. Possibly through taste training. Perhaps the mere insight into the knowledge that the price as a quality criterion can cut our reward system helps.
Rüdiger Lobitz, resp

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