Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

D. Alexander Varakin

Department Affiliation



The purpose of the present experiment was to examine how expectations influence cracker ratings on a scale of likeability. A large body of research shows that expectations affect food experiences (Wansink, 2004; Eertmans, Baeyens & Van den Bergh, 2001; Kahkonen & Tuorila, 1998). Participants were not aware that the primary interest of the study was how expectations influence cracker ratings. Participants were assigned to either a positive expectation group or a neutral expectation group. Participants in the positive expectation group received a positive verbal cue indicating that the crackers had recently been rated high in a national taste test. The neutral expectation group did not receive the information concerning the national taste test. Participants were administered critical thinking tasks while consuming crackers. It was hypothesized that those in the positive expectation group would rate the crackers higher than those in the neutral expectation group. The results of the study did not support the hypothesis. There was no difference in how the groups rated the crackers.