The influence of flavor and color on drink identification by children and adults

Nicholas Oram*, David G. Laing, Ian Hutchinson, Joanne Owen, Grenville Rose, Melanie Freeman, Graeme Newell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated how color and flavor influences drink identification by children and adults. The children ranged in age from 2 to 18 years of age. Each subject tasted four drinks that differed in color and flavor. Each drink had an atypical color–flavor pairing (e.g., brown–pineapple) or a typical pairing (e.g., brown–chocolate). After tasting each drink, the subject chose which of four flavor names identified the drink. For the atypical drinks, the selection of color‐associated names (e.g., chocolate for a brown drink) decreased, and the selection of flavor‐associated names increased with age from the preschoolers to the adults. For the typical drinks, the selection of the correct name was greater than 80% for all ages. These results suggest that drink identification becomes more influenced by flavor as children get older because of an increase in the ability of children to focus on flavor as their perceptual‐attentional skills mature. © 1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-246
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental Psychobiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

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