Date of Graduation

12-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Food Science

Advisor

Han-Seok Seo

Committee Member

Jean-Francois Meullenet

Second Committee Member

Philip G. Crandall

Third Committee Member

Andronikos Mauromoustakos

Fourth Committee Member

Matthew Feldner

Keywords

Autonomic Nervous System Response, Consumer Behavior, Emotion, Facial Expressions, Self-reported, Sensory Perception

Abstract

Consumer behavior toward food/beverages is influenced by multisensory attribute perceptions as well as emotional experiences. Traditional methods of sensory testing lack the ability to capture emotional responses and as a result, measuring food/beverage-evoked emotions remains a research challenge. There were three objectives of this dissertation study. Firstly, this study aimed to develop prediction models of acceptance of and preference for basic taste solutions using sensory attribute intensities and emotional responses. Secondly, this study aimed to extend the findings of the first objective to develop prediction models of commercially-available vegetable juice products in terms of (a) acceptance and preference under blind-tasting conditions and (b) purchase behavior under informed-tasting conditions. Lastly, this study aimed to determine the influence of individual personality traits on the prediction models of acceptance and preference for basic taste solutions. Combination of explicit measures (self-reported emotions) and implicit measures (facial expressions and autonomic nervous system responses) were used to measure beverage-evoked emotions. Findings from this study suggest that combination of explicit and implicit emotional measures along with sensory attribute intensities can better predict acceptance of and preference toward basic taste solutions or vegetable juice products as compared to individual variables. In addition, combination of sensory attribute intensities and emotional responses along with non-sensory factors provided optimal prediction model of purchase behavior. Finally, individual differences such as personality traits, specifically those associated with extraversion and neuroticism, have potential to influence the prediction models developed to predict consumer behavior. In conclusion, this dissertation study recommends the combined use of explicit and implicit emotional measures, in addition to sensory and/or non-sensory cues, to predict consumer behavior in terms of acceptance, preference, and purchase-related decisions. In addition, it is important to consider individual differences such as personality traits of participants when developing prediction models of consumer behavior using sensory intensities and emotional responses. This dissertation study provides valuable and practical information for better understanding of consumer behavior to sensory scientists, applied-emotion researchers, and food manufacturers.

Available for download on Friday, June 21, 2019

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