New from Scientific American - The Hedonic Effect 是啥？科學人告訴你
Appetizers Can Psychologically Spoil Your Appetite
Mediocre main dishes口味平庸的主菜 taste even worse when they follow delectable美味的 appetizers—an example of the so-called "hedonic effect."享樂效應
Erika Beras reports
Lots of things influence how your dinner may taste to you: how it’s presented on a plate, how hungry you are and of course, your taste buds味蕾. But researchers wanted to know if early courses—appetizers開胃菜—influence the taste of a meal, and truly do whet your appetite刺激食欲.
Researchers had 64 volunteers eat one of two meals. The meals were the same—bruschetta普切塔(香料烤麵包加番茄香料小點) as an appetizer and an entrée主菜 of pasta with garlic and oil. The pasta that everyone got was prepared to be only so-so. But some of the volunteers first got a bruschetta that was made to be mediocre普通的, while the others got one that was stellar.好吃到爆的(原意是卓越、極佳的)
Then the volunteers rated the meals. And people who ate the good appetizer thought their entrée was even worse than did people who had the middling中間的(平淡無奇的) appetizer. The study is in the journal Food Quality and Preference. [Jacob Lahne and Debra A. Zellner, The great is the enemy of the good: Hedonic contrast in a coursed meal]
This work builds on previous studies that have focused on the perception of food and drink, and other sensory experience感官體驗. In one investigation for example, researchers found that hearing a loud sound first then makes a soft sound seem to sound even softer.Researchers call this effect hedonic contrast享樂差異—the perception or pleasure gained from something is affected by how it compares to other similar stimuli刺激物(單數為stimulus). Maybe keep that fact in mind—or on the tip of your tongue此句是雙關語。On the tip of one’s tongue原意是話到嘴邊一時想不起來。本文因為與味蕾和舌頭有關，所以意思是「舌尖要特別留意」—next time you plan your courses.