Consumer Behavior: The Effects of Sequence on Beer Preference Phase 1: Literary Review
1. Question order effects in taste testing of beverages
Hypothesis: If consumers are given a small number of alternatives they will chose the first option. Methodology: Two studies were performed; one of the east coast and the other on the west coast. Participants were asked to each sample four carbonated beverages in a sequential order. A total of eight different beverages were sampled (four on the east coast and four on the west coast). Participants were recruited from shopping malls and had to be between 13 and 20 years old. They also needed to have drunk at least six bottles of carbonated drinks within the past month to qualify for the research study. The sample consisted of 302 participants, 152 on the east coast and 150 on the west coast. To improve the accuracy of the study, the beverage sequence was changed so that each beverage was in a different position an equal number of times. First, respondents were asked to rate each beverage on a scale from 0 (“terrible”) to 100 (“excellent”) on a written questionnaire. Second, respondents were asked to rate each beverage based on their intention to purchase it on a scale from 1 (definitely would not purchase) to 7 (definitely would purchase). Third, participants were asked to rate each beverage on 35 predetermined attributes using a 7-point scale. Findings: The result of the carbonated beverage study indicated that consumer preference is directly related to tasting sequence. On average, the first beverage was rated significantly higher than the subsequent beverages for overall acceptance, intention to purchase and product attributes. In addition, there were no significant differences between the second, third and fourth beverages in terms of preference. Relevance: Marketers should be aware of the sequential sampling effects on consumer decision-making. When consumers have only a few alternatives (four or less) they...
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