'Bottoms Up!' The Influence of Elongation on Pouring and Consumption Volume

10 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2010

Date Written: December 1, 2003


The effects of shapes on area perceptions have been widely investigated. This re-inquiry replicates, extends, and generalizes one of the few studies to relate the effects of shapes to consumption volumes (Raghubir and Krishna 1999). While Raghubir and Krishna demonstrate the effect of elongation of pre-poured drinks on consumption volume, we have consumers pour their own drinks in a series of controlled field experiments. Two cafeteria studies show both children and adults pour more juice when given a short, wide glass compared to those given a tall, narrow glass, but they perceive the opposite to be true. Because all participants finished their drinks, we conclude the elongation of glasses negatively influences consumption volume in a single-serving context. A third potentially policy relevant study conducted with bartenders and liquor shows that the effect of elongation is moderated - but not eliminated - with pouring experience.

Suggested Citation

Wansink, Brian and van Ittersum, Koert, 'Bottoms Up!' The Influence of Elongation on Pouring and Consumption Volume (December 1, 2003). Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 30, pp. 455-464, December 2003, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1547941

Brian Wansink

Retired ( email )

607-319-0123 (Phone)

Koert Van Ittersum (Contact Author)

University of Groningen ( email )

Postbus 72
9700 AB Groningen

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