Perception of alcohol strength impaired by low and high volume distraction

Lorenzo Stafford, E. Agobiani, M. Fernandes

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Abstract

Recent research demonstrated impaired discrimination of alcohol strength under distracting conditions. The present study aimed to extend this by examining the effects of distraction volume on alcohol perception. In the study here (between subjects design, 34 females/20 males), participants completed standardized taste and olfactory tests, followed by a taste test of alcoholic beverages (0, 1.9, 3.9, 5.6 and 7.5pct abv) in a randomly allocated distractive or control condition [Control, Shadow Music-Low Volume (SM-L), Shadow Music-High Volume (SM-H)]. Alcohol strength discrimination was significantly impaired in both SM-L and SM-H compared to control, but did not differ from each other. We also found that those individuals with habitually poorer taste acuity were particularly vulnerable to the impairing effects of distraction on alcohol discrimination. This study demonstrates congruent effects of volume on alcohol perception and how this can be modulated by individual taste sensitivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-474
Number of pages5
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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