Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Influenceability of Taste

This recent article discusses the dubiousness of lay as well as expert judgement when it comes to wine-tasting. "The perceptual ambiguity of wine helps to explain why contextual influences---say, the look of a label, or the price tag on the bottle---can profoundly influence expert judgement." 

Although wine-tasting and aesthetic evaluation are not directly analogous (I would argue that music is less "perceptually ambiguous" than wine), one must wonder about the extent to which a similar phenomenon is at work in the appreciation of jazz, for example. Could it be that musical taste is not disinterested and unbiased, even among the soi-disant "experts," but is heavily burdened by such "contextual influences" as marketing, image, and hype?

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