Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Bigger Wine Glass = More Wine Consumed. Duh Study Time?

Long-time readers of my blog know that I live for finding Duh Studies. Those are studies that make me wonder how on earth the researchers received approval and funding for certain types of research. I found another one this morning.

Did you know that if you use a bigger wine glass, chances are you will drink more wine? I know. I was shocked too. Just as shocked as I was to learn years ago in nursing school that if we served meals on larger plates, people would want or add more food to these plates.

This new study from the University of Cambridge measured how much wine people bought/drank when they used larger glasses than when they used standard glasses. According to the press release:

Over the course of a 16-week period, the owners of the establishment changed the size of the wine glasses at fortnightly intervals, alternating between the standard (300ml) size, and larger (370ml) and smaller (250 ml) glasses.
The researchers found that the volume of wine purchased daily was 9.4% higher when sold in larger glasses compared to standard-sized glasses. This effect was mainly driven by sales in the bar area, which saw an increase in sales of 14.4%, compared to an 8.2% increase in sales in the restaurant. The findings were inconclusive as to whether sales were different with smaller compared to standard-sized glasses.

Ok, in all fairness, I did not read the study and I do only have this press release to go on, but seriously - is it really big news?

I have to say, I disagree with the researcher's quote here:

"We found that increasing the size of wine glasses, even without increasing the amount of wine, leads people to drink more," says Dr Rachel Pechey from the BHRU at Cambridge. "It's not obvious why this should be the case, but one reason may be that larger glasses change our perceptions of the amount of wine, leading us to drink faster and order more. But it's interesting that we didn't see the opposite effect when we switched to smaller wine glasses."

We do know. We know it's human nature. We see a lot in a small glass and a bit in a large glass, and we unconsciously believe that the amount in the smaller glass is more than in the larger glass.

Here are some earlier Duh Studies I wrote about:

It's Duh Study Time Again
Duh studies, not just for the public
Duh Studies, This Is News?

My interest in Duh Studies goes back to when I first worked as an online editor, and I came across a study that screamed, Bottle Feeding Dangerous For Babies (or something like that). It turns out, that the researcher had two case studies, both eerily similar. The first one involved a woman who boiled some water in a pan to heat up a bottle of formula. She took the freshly boiled pot of water over to her bed. Yes, to her bed. She placed the pan of water, freshly hot boiled water, ON HER BED. She put in the bottle of formula. She then GOT ON THE BED WITH THE BABY. As they were getting comfortable - you guessed it - the pot spilled freshly boiled water on the mum and baby, and baby was severely burned. Conclusion: Bottle feeding is dangerous.

I'm going to go have a cup of coffee in my enormous mug. Seems like I drink so little coffee that way. ;-)

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