Tasty Wine All In the Pricetag

Swapping price tags changed drinkers' opinions during study
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2008 12:19 PM CST
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(Newser) – The price of a bottle wine directly affects our enjoyment of it, a new study concludes. Volunteers were offered three different wines, with four different price labels, mixing up the order to see what effect price had on people’s tastes. Watching volunteers' brains via MRI scan, the researchers saw they got more pleasure from the bottle with a $90 tag, Science reports.

Researchers pinned the result on elevated expectations, saying, “these expectations end up influencing their actual experience.” Another expert said external cues like price are especially important “when one does not know enough about" something firsthand. "People think high price means high quality," one researcher tells the San Jose Mercury News. "This placebo effect occurs very non-consciously."