Conditioned Enhancement of Human's Liking for Flavor by Pairing with Sweetness

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This paper reports a procedure, like classical conditioning, that produces enhancement of liking for flavors by humans. The procedure is "pairing" of a relatively neutral flavor with sugar (a hedonically positive taste). Specifically, subjects drank 24 small samples of flavor A sweetened and 24 small samples of flavor B unsweetened. They were then tested for their liking for flavors A and B, both sweetened and unsweetened. In three different studies, varying in a number of aspects of stimulus presentations and context, a relative enhancement in liking for flavor A appeared both on the day of exposure and 1 week later. An absolute enhancement in liking of flavor B (a "mere exposure" effect) also occurred in two of the three experiments.



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