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The Effects of Bitter Taste on Consumer Behaviour


The Effects of Bitter Taste on Consumer Behaviour

Hou, Lianze (2021) The Effects of Bitter Taste on Consumer Behaviour. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Bitter taste is innately aversive. The association between bitterness and difficult situations have been widely documented across various disciplines. A set of psychological adaptations may have co-evolved with the physiological responses to bitter taste, in responding to the recurrent challenge of harsh environments in human evolutionary history. Bitter taste is proposed to activate psychological mechanisms evolved for obtaining and retaining resources. In connection with consumer behaviour, experiencing bitter taste may alter consumers’ preference toward high-calorie food and body-enhancing products. In this thesis, three experimental studies demonstrate how bitter taste influences consumers’ behaviours. Study 1 finds that Chinese participants who drink bitter quinine-sulfate water solution consume significantly more high-calorie food, compared to those who drink plain water. Study 2 and 3 show that, in the Canadian cultural context, participants who imagine drinking a bitter beverage report higher competitive orientation and weigh the body-enhancing product attributes more in the choice task, compared to those who are primed with drinking plain water. This thesis contributes to introducing Darwinian principles to sensory marketing and adds to the existing literature on the effects of bitter taste on consumer behavior. Furthermore, it provides managerial implications for policy makers and marketing managers regarding how to promote healthy diets and how to improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns for self-enhancing products.

Divisions:Concordia University > John Molson School of Business > Marketing
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Hou, Lianze
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Administration (Marketing option)
Date:12 May 2021
Thesis Supervisor(s):Saad, Gad
ID Code:988509
Deposited By: LIANZE HOU
Deposited On:29 Nov 2021 16:48
Last Modified:29 Nov 2021 16:48
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