University of Sussex
Blackmore, Helena.pdf (3.43 MB)

The role of expectations in improving consumers’ oral and post-ingestive experience in the context of regular and non-alcoholic beer

Download (3.43 MB)
posted on 2023-06-10, 05:34 authored by Helena Blackmore
What we experience is influenced not only by sensory inputs, but also by expectations. This thesis investigates, explains, and quantifies the relationship between product-related cues, expectancies, and consumers’ oral and post-ingestive experience in the context of regular and non-alcoholic beer. The first study, a series of four online experiments, investigated the role of extrinsic and intrinsic cues in the generation of expectancies. Overall, implicit cues such as design and colour were less effective in generating expectations than explicit cues such as sensory descriptor. Understanding the process of expectation generation, the second study aimed to answer the question of whether beer labelling and colour may be used to modify customers' expectations and, together with taste, alter perception of taste, flavour, and mouthfeel of beer. Results of mediation analysis showed that not only did beer colour and sensory descriptor change consumers’ perception, but that this effect was mediated by expectations. Study 3 then expanded on previous findings by investigating how beer colour, label-based sensory descriptors, and labelled alcohol content affect expected and perceived properties of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beers. Beer colour and some sensory descriptors did, indeed, influence ratings of expected and perceived beer properties. However, it appears that a sensory descriptor must be relevant and percept-specific in order to alter perception. The final experiment looked at whether and how consumer focus and alcohol content affect post-ingestive experience. The results confirmed the effects of alcohol on mood, cognitive performance, and satisfaction. The findings, however, did not show that consumer focus could improve sensory and hedonic perception or post-ingestive experience. Overall, it appears that extrinsic and intrinsic product cues can shape consumer sensory and hedonic experience in the context of regular and reduced alcohol beers, but the effect of product cues on post-ingestive experience, including consumer satisfaction appears to be limited.


File Version

  • Published version



Department affiliated with

  • Psychology Theses

Qualification level

  • doctoral

Qualification name

  • phd


  • eng


University of Sussex

Full text available

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


Usage metrics

    University of Sussex (Theses)


    No categories selected