Title

This Water Tastes Like Controversy

Poster Number

7

Lead Author Major

Psychology

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Gary Howells

Faculty Mentor Department

Psychology

Abstract/Artist Statement

San Francisco has often boasted about its pristine water resources, attributing the fine taste of their city’s water to the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. However, the reservoir only provides approximately 25% of the city’s water supply. Previous research has suggested that information about the source of water can affect consumer perceptions of it. Brei and Böhm (2011) discovered that bottled water companies actively market their products using cultural values and socially responsible perceptions. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of controversial background information on water taste ratings. We will conduct a double-blind study with thirty college students who will be randomly assigned to two groups. The experimental group will be presented with a true story about the controversial history of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. The control group will be presented with a neutral children’s story that is unrelated to water. After the participants are presented the stories, they will be instructed to drink a plastic cup of Hetch Hetchy water and rate on a 6-point Likert scale “the taste of the water” (1= bad; 6 = awesome). We hypothesize that the experimental group will be more likely to report that the water tasted poorly compared to the control group. Pilot data from 9 participants (i.e., friends and family) indicate that participant water tasting ratings did not widely differ between the experimental group (M = 5.00) and the control group (M = 4.66). Final results will be discussed regarding effects of controversial background information on water taste.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

20-4-2013 10:00 AM

End Date

20-4-2013 12:00 PM

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Apr 20th, 10:00 AM Apr 20th, 12:00 PM

This Water Tastes Like Controversy

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

San Francisco has often boasted about its pristine water resources, attributing the fine taste of their city’s water to the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. However, the reservoir only provides approximately 25% of the city’s water supply. Previous research has suggested that information about the source of water can affect consumer perceptions of it. Brei and Böhm (2011) discovered that bottled water companies actively market their products using cultural values and socially responsible perceptions. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of controversial background information on water taste ratings. We will conduct a double-blind study with thirty college students who will be randomly assigned to two groups. The experimental group will be presented with a true story about the controversial history of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. The control group will be presented with a neutral children’s story that is unrelated to water. After the participants are presented the stories, they will be instructed to drink a plastic cup of Hetch Hetchy water and rate on a 6-point Likert scale “the taste of the water” (1= bad; 6 = awesome). We hypothesize that the experimental group will be more likely to report that the water tasted poorly compared to the control group. Pilot data from 9 participants (i.e., friends and family) indicate that participant water tasting ratings did not widely differ between the experimental group (M = 5.00) and the control group (M = 4.66). Final results will be discussed regarding effects of controversial background information on water taste.