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Chemical Senses

Year: 2009  |  Volume: 34  |  Issue: 9  |  Page No.: 739 - 751

Derivation and Evaluation of a Labeled Hedonic Scale

J Lim, A Wood and B. G. Green


The objective of this study was to develop a semantically labeled hedonic scale (LHS) that would yield ratio-level data on the magnitude of liking/disliking of sensation equivalent to that produced by magnitude estimation (ME). The LHS was constructed by having 49 subjects who were trained in ME rate the semantic magnitudes of 10 common hedonic descriptors within a broad context of imagined hedonic experiences that included tastes and flavors. The resulting bipolar scale is statistically symmetrical around neutral and has a unique semantic structure. The LHS was evaluated quantitatively by comparing it with ME and the 9-point hedonic scale. The LHS yielded nearly identical ratings to those obtained using ME, which implies that its semantic labels are valid and that it produces ratio-level data equivalent to ME. Analyses of variance conducted on the hedonic ratings from the LHS and the 9-point scale gave similar results, but the LHS showed much greater resistance to ceiling effects and yielded normally distributed data, whereas the 9-point scale did not. These results indicate that the LHS has significant semantic, quantitative, and statistical advantages over the 9-point hedonic scale.

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