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Pricey WIne

November 24, 2016

The price of a wine arbitrarily influences how pleasurable it is to drink.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Is fine wine worth it? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Not surprisingly, expensive wines are often perceived to be of higher quality than cheap ones. And studies show that in the brain this perception becomes a reality. In one study, Stanford University professor of marketing Baba Shiv and his colleagues scanned volunteers’ brain activity as they sipped wine. Some were told the wine cost $90 a bottle, and others were told it cost just $5.

BABA SHIV (Stanford University):

Indeed, the brain experiences a lot more pleasure when the wine is higher-priced than when it is lower priced. Keep in mind that it was the same wine that was delivered.

HIRSHON:

Shiv says the anticipation of pleasure stimulates the actual pleasure center of the brain, making it more active. So, if you’re shopping for the perfect bottle to pair with a meal this holiday season, bear in mind that the pricetag may be as important as the vintage. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the science society.