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Peak-end pizza: prices delay evaluations of quality

Bibliographic Information:
David R Just, Ozge Sigirci, and Brian Wansink.  Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 24 Iss 7 pp. 770 - 778 [producer].   Codebook: R2E-JUST-2015.  This study includes files created by Cornell researchers and/or staff.

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User note:   The de-identified data (eliminating height, weight and age variables) can be found at:

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Stata ProgramV:\r2e\JUST-2015\Peak_Prices_Script.do12 KB  /  KB

Abstract:  Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to determine if the level of payment required for consumption changed the relationship between a consumer’s overall evaluation of a hedonic consumption experience and the evaluation of ?rst, middle, last piece and peak consumption experiences.

Design/methodology/approach – Diners at an all-you-can-eat restaurant were either charged $4 or $8 for an Italian lunch buffet. Their taste, satisfaction and enjoyment evaluation of each piece of pizza they had was taken along with other measures of behavior and self-perceptions. Using regression analysis, we examine the relationship between these single event evaluations and their overall evaluations of the experience.

Findings – For the diners who paid $4 for their buffet, overall taste, satisfaction and enjoyment evaluation depend on the taste of the last piece of the pizza and the peak taste consistent with prior ?ndings. For those paying $8 for the buffet, the ?rst piece of pizza is more important in predicting the overall taste, satisfaction and enjoyment ratings.

Practical implications – Consumers do not evaluate their meal experience based on every moment of their experience.Rather, just a fewmoments appear to impact overall evaluation. Firms that sell access to a series of experiences, such as an all-you-can-eat buffet, should focus on leading customers to the best experience ?rst particularly when prices may be considered moderate to high.

Originality/value – In this paper,we seek to unravel the relationship between price paid and the peak-end heuristic by examining the importance of peak and end experiences under two different pricing regimes. Our study also indicates that the peak-end rule may depend on speci?c contextual factors.

Note: The Stata code ( and data (PizzaStudy.txt) associated with this study reproduced: a) Tables in Erratum_Peak_End_Pizza.pdf that did not involve age, weight, and height variables, which were were removed to de-identify the dataset; and b) output log appended at the bottom of the Erratum_Peak_End_Pizza.pdf file.

Keywords Pricing, Enjoyment, Consumer satisfaction, Hedonic consumption experience, Peak-end rule, Taste evaluation

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