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Understanding Consumers : Preference, Expectations and Emotions

During the 8th and 10th of June, the Italian Sensory Science Society held a course that featured recent advances in cognitive psychology applied to sensory and consumer studies. Since the course was partially accommodated by the University of Florence, the Grand Hotel Mediterraneo in lovely Florence was the venue of the three day course.

The course covered three main topics in consumer research: preferences, expectations and emotions. Each day was dedicated to one of these topics. We really appreciated the structure of each day as it gave us something different on each given day during the three day course.



The days started with background information about the topics. For example: what are preferences, expectations and emotions? What kind of types are there and what is the psychology behind this? After this very interesting theoretical part the days continued with more practical information by asking questions such as,  “How can you measure preferences, expectations and emotions?”.


Thereafter it was time to enjoy a delicious Italian lunch. The afternoons were dedicated to the statistical part of the course and focused on the kind of analyses you could use.  The days ended with a demonstration and some exercises with the data analysis.

Coursephoto participants

Located only minutes from the historical Piazza Santa Croce, we were glad to see out our free time in the heart of the city’s center. Florence is a beautiful city full of historical buildings. While we were still in Florence the weekend after the course, a special event took place in the city: the Calcio Storico Fiorentino. This is a competition between teams of the four neighborhoods of the historical city center. 


The competition originates from the 16th century and is a combination of soccer, rugby and wrestling. It was very nice to see the city center filled with competitors dressed in historical costumes.


We would like to give a special thanks to the instructors of the course: Prof. John Prescott, Prof. Tormod Naes, Prof. Erminio Monteleone and Dr. Sara Spinelli. It was a very interesting and inspiring course!