Master of Business Administration Executive

Faculty / School

School of Business Studies (SBS)

Year of Award



Dr. Asim Shabir, Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator BBA, Department of Marketing

Project Type

MBA Executive Research Project

Access Type

Restricted Access

Executive Summary

It is widely accepted that people naturally opt for larger portions of food when hungry (provided not on a diet) and small portions when sated. However, studies (Cornil & Chandon, 2016) have shown that multisensory imagery intervention may lead to non-dieting hungry people opting for smaller food portions yet not only anticipating greater pleasure from these portions but also willing to pay more for them. This research paper explores if non-dieting hungry people in Pakistan who have decided to eat a hedonic food can be encouraged via multisensory imagery to prefer smaller food portions at neither any hedonic cost to themselves nor any economic cost to food producers. Two studies were conducted to test whether non-dieting hungry respondents in a multisensory imagery condition (as opposed to control condition), when given a choice, (i) preferred smaller portion of food items, (ii) expected greater pleasure from their chosen portion, and (iii) were willing to at least as much for their smaller portion size.

Study-I was conducted in IBA’s Neuro Lab with 40 respondents where each respondent was not only asked to respond to a carefully designed and sequenced survey but also their eye movements were monitored. Study-I provided a framework for another study to be conducted with a larger sample size via Google Forms. The sample in Study-II increased to 207 respondents. The findings from Study-II were that non-dieting hungry people chose smaller portions when in a multisensory imagery condition versus people in a control condition. However, results for expected pleasure from smaller portions and willingness to pay at least as much for their smaller portion size remained statistically insignificant. These studies warrant that more research is conducted to assess the impact of multisensory imagery in food consumption as it may not only help reduce the health issues of consumers but also benefit the food industry.

It is recommended that food retailers and restaurants should use high resolution delicious looking food items in menus and their marketing material. They should be encouraged to write a detailed description of food items so that the consumer can vividly imagine taste, smell and texture in mouth for the relevant food item. Even waiters/servers should use language which can help consumers have a mental image of food in their mind and can imagine its smell, taste and texture etc.


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