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Preview: Comments on: Carl Willat Suffers From the Willat Effect

Comments on: Carl Willat Suffers From the Willat Effect



Personal Science, Self-Experimentation, Scientific Method



Last Build Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 20:18:18 +0000

 



By: dearieme

Mon, 27 Feb 2012 00:35:12 +0000

You give the inferior ice cream to the cat. Life isn't all that complicated.



By: Kirk

Sun, 26 Feb 2012 19:59:48 +0000

I'm tied in knots in a fierce debate with myself as to whether I should continue with the comparison tea tasting. You see, I had grown bored with a regular black tea (organic Assam, brewed 2.5 minutes, served with cream). A month ago I tried another round of tea comparison with a variety of samples, and the winner was the one I had settled on three years ago. But it's still kind of boring. Given this state of boredom with black tea, several years ago I started making chai tea out of a random blend of spices, grinding the spices myself with a granite mortar and pestle. And the tastes have been reasonably pleasurable, like adding fermented foods to soups and steps. But as I contemplate taking on a half-year investigation into what makes the best chai blend, I have to ask myself, "Do I really want to shun all those other almost-good-enough blends?" On the other hand, at the end, I'll have the perfect chai blend.



By: Brian

Sun, 26 Feb 2012 19:44:39 +0000

Hi Seth, I wonder what your thoughts are about when we should and should not avoid the Willat effect. On the one hand, nicer things are nice, but on the other I don't want to need the best of everything. Looking at the Willat Effect next to the Hedonic tredmill what do you think is optimal? I already can't stand normal chefs knives, produce, yogurt, speakers, music, movies, and books! - Brian Seth: In my experience the Willat Effect both increases (tea) and decreases (sake) consumption. Of course when it decreases consumption it decreases enjoyment -- since I don't drink sake, I no longer enjoy it. But I don't miss sake, there are plenty of substitutes. So, in my experience, there has been no serious downside. The upside is really noticeable: I do side-by-side tea comparisons every day.



By: Alex Chernavsky

Sun, 26 Feb 2012 14:32:30 +0000

Then there's something that I would call the reverse Willat effect. I recently bought a new brand of kim chee that, at first, tasted much better to me than my usual brand. But when I compared them side-by-side, the two brands tasted remarkably similar to me. See also: Double-Blind Violin Test: Can You Pick The Strad?



By: Adam

Sun, 26 Feb 2012 13:24:10 +0000

I am interested in knowing which was the best tasting ice cream. The one made from the freshest ingredients or the one made from the fermented? Is it fermented or just on its way to spoiled. I have also noticed this effect, especially with coffee, and it's not always the one that I assume to be the "freshest".



By: jeff

Sun, 26 Feb 2012 12:57:24 +0000

I had an experience with this just this week. I brought a cup of starbucks to a meeting that had a carton of Dunkin Donuts coffee. After having the starbucks the DD tasted awful. I am seeing many more examples with this effect in real life.