Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Year's Eve Warning: Shape Of Glass Influences How Much Alcohol Is Poured -- And How Much You Will Drink

Date:
December 31, 2005
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
People, including professional bartenders, pour 20 to 30 percent more liquor into short, squat glasses than into tall, thin ones, finds a study by Cornell Professor Brian Wansink, published in a December 2005 issue of the British Medical Journal. Wansink thinks the vertical-horizontal optical illusion is the reason.

Cornell Professor Brian Wansink's study showed that people overpour into short, squat glasses by 20 to 30 percent, compared with tall, thin glasses, probably because of the vertical-horizontal optical illusion that people consistently perceive vertical lines as longer than horizontal ones of the same length.
Credit: Image Jason Koski / Copyright Cornell University

When pouring liquor, even professional bartenders unintentionally pour 20 to 30 percent more into short, squat glasses than into tall, thin ones, according to a new Cornell University study.

Related Articles


"Yet, people who pour into short, wide glasses consistently believe that they pour less than those who pour into tall, narrow glasses," said Brian Wansink, the John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing, Applied Economics and of Nutritional Science at Cornell. "And education, practice, concentration and experience don't correct the overpouring."

The reason for the difference, Wansink speculates, is the classic vertical-horizontal optical illusion: People consistently perceive equally sized vertical lines as longer than horizontal ones.

"People generally estimate tall glasses as holding more liquid than wide ones of the same volume," Wansink said. "They also focus their pouring attention on the height of the liquid they are pouring and insufficiently compensate for its width."

The study, by Wansink and Koert van Ittersum, assistant professor of marketing at Georgia Institute of Technology, is published in the newest issue of the British Medical Journal.

In separate studies, the researchers asked 198 college students (43 percent female) of legal drinking age and 86 professional bartenders (with an average six years experience -- 38 percent of them female) to pour a shot (1.5 oz.) of spirits into either short, wide tumblers or tall, thin highball glasses.

The college students consistently poured 30 percent more alcohol into the short glasses than into the tall, and the bartenders poured 20 percent more.

When the researchers asked one group of students to practice 10 times before the actual pour, they still poured 26 percent more into the short glasses. When the researchers asked one group of bartenders to "please take your time," the bartenders took twice as long to pour the drink, but still poured 10 percent more into the short glasses.

Because people generally consume most -- about 92 percent -- of what they serve themselves, the issue of pouring accuracy is relevant to policy-makers, health professionals, consumers, law enforcement officials and alcohol addiction and abuse counselors, write the authors. For example, they note, the hospitality industry wants to control serving sizes and thus costs, those in public policy want to minimize waste, and health professionals want to discourage overconsumption.

Advice from Wansink for bars and restaurants and for those who don't want to unintentionally drink too much: "Use tall glasses or glasses with alcohol-level marks etched on them." For parents? Use tall, thin glasses when pouring soda but short, wide glasses for milk and other healthful drinks.

Wansink, the author of the new book "Marketing Nutrition: Soy, Functional Foods, Biotechnology and Obesity," is also the director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, made up of a group of interdisciplinary researchers who have conducted more than 200 studies on the psychology behind what people eat and how often they eat it.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "New Year's Eve Warning: Shape Of Glass Influences How Much Alcohol Is Poured -- And How Much You Will Drink." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 December 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051223122535.htm>.
Cornell University. (2005, December 31). New Year's Eve Warning: Shape Of Glass Influences How Much Alcohol Is Poured -- And How Much You Will Drink. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051223122535.htm
Cornell University. "New Year's Eve Warning: Shape Of Glass Influences How Much Alcohol Is Poured -- And How Much You Will Drink." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051223122535.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins