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Comparing a full and reduced version of a consumer‐led lexicon to measure emotional response to beer

Eaton, Curtis, Chaya, Carolina, Smart, Katherine A., Hort, Joanne
Journal of sensory studies 2019 v.34 no.2 pp. e12481
beers, cluster analysis, consumer science, focus groups, United Kingdom
Verbal self‐report emotion measures in sensory and consumer science commonly include a long lexicon of terms with an associated potential for participant boredom and fatigue. This study assessed the effectiveness of reducing the number of terms in a product‐specific lexicon by comparing a reduced form to a full form. The relative abilities of each lexicon to discriminate between beer samples were evaluated. Focus groups of UK beer consumers generated 43 emotion terms in response to a set of sensorially distinct lager samples. These terms were used by the participants to individually rate their emotional responses to lager samples. Cluster analysis, modified via linguistic checks, was used to group terms by similarity into emotion categories. Nine categories were defined which became the reduced lexicon. Subsequently, naïve beer consumers (n = 109) rated their emotional responses to the samples using both the full and reduced lexicons. The emotional spaces generated by both lexicons were comparable, although there were relative gains and losses in discrimination associated with each. However, overall, the forms were consistent in sample discriminability and use of the reduced emotion form was concluded to be preferable for product comparisons because of the significant savings in both time and resources. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Emotion measurement has been previously shown to go beyond hedonic measures in product discrimination. The present research has shown that, in commercial environments, a reduced product‐specific emotion lexicon may be preferable to a full version given the similarity between form lengths for sample discriminability in addition to significant savings in both time and resources.