chapter  4
Factors Influencing Sensory Verdicts
Pages 6

Good sensory measurements require that we look at the tasters as measuring instruments

that are somewhat variable over time and among themselves, and are very prone to bias.

To minimize variability and bias, the experimenter must understand the basic physiologi-

cal and psychological factors that may influence sensory perception. Gregson (1963) notes

that perception of the real world is not a passive process, but an active and selective one.

An observer records only those elements of a complex situation that he can readily see and

associate as meaningful. The rest he eliminates, even if it is staring him in the face. The

observer must be put in a frame of mind to understand the characteristics that he or she is

to measure. This is done through training (see Chapter 9), and by avoiding a number of

pitfalls (Amerine, Pangborn, and Roessler 1965; Pangborn 1979; Poste et al. 1991; Lawless

and Heymann 1998) inherent in the presentation of samples, the text of the questionnaire,

and the handling of the participants.