Dr Hal MacFie

Consultant in Sensory & Consumer Science

Hal MacFie Training Services
Company Registration No: 7864651
Company Address: 43 Manor Road
Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1RB, UK
Contact Tel: (44) 0117 9863590

About Us!


Professor O’Mahony is a popular speaker, noted for his skills in explaining complex concepts and ideas simply and clearly as well as being an entertaining speaker. He has just been awarded the IFT Sensory and Consumer Sciences Achievement award. His current 2 day course reflects his interest in the psychological aspects of consumer testing and its relation to consumer choice in the marketplace. The course will examine the key questions in consumer science. The measures used for consumer preference, liking and emotions will be examined critically in terms of their psychology. What do liking and emotion questions really tell us about predicting consumer behavior in the marketplace? What does the consumer’s brain do when answering liking, preference, emotionquestions? How does it process the necessary information? How does knowledge of this allow us to design more meaningful test methods? What better methods are available? Should some of the well-used traditional measures be quietly put to rest?  Can you get hedonic scaling data without scaling? Should emotions really be such a hot topic? What is the best approach to predicting consumer choice?The course will present new ideas and some of the latest developments in consumer testing methodology. It will be interactive with illustrative examples.

Professor Michael O’Mahony

24 -25 September 2018
Venue:Microtek Labs
Cleveland Ohio
Course Organizer
Hal MacFie
For details and registration e-mail:

It is possible to attend this course using our Virtual Training room so no need to travel or spend on accommodation - see below for details.


Michael O’Mahony is a professor in the in the Department of Food Science and Technology, at the University of California, Davis. He is the author of Sensory Evaluation of Food: Statistical Methods and Procedures and over 200 published journal articles and book chapters. A consultant to the food industry in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Korea and China, he is also a popular lecturer in America, Asia and Europe where he is recognized for his ability to communicate concepts in a way that is easily understood. He is an enthusiastic and entertaining speaker.

Day 1
  • A Psychologist’s perspective.
  • Sophisticated statistics, unsophisticated measurements.
  • Good, bad and compromise measures of consumer behavior. What should we do?
  • Sensory input. How the brain protects against information overload.
  • Sensory output. How cognitive subroutines protect against cognitive overload.
  • A test for thinking fast and thinking slow. How this affects sensory measurement.
  • Responding on auto pilot.
  • How the goals of sensory science affect the methods.


  • Old questions: the question of the ‘No Preference’ option.
  • Old questions: HUT vs CLT. Soymilk.
  • What are the data? Test vs operational preferences.
  • Don’t confuse discrimination with preference.
  • Why do consumers report preferences when the products are ‘identical’?
  • Use of placebo pairs; statistical testing and consumer selection.
  • Why do consumers give false preferences? Fast thinking?
  • Which consumers have the strongest preference bias? Cultural differences.
  • Thinking fast in preference tests. Neal’s popcorn experiment.
  • New tests that avoid the problems of response bias.
  • Can test preferences predict operational preferences?
  • Liking, Buying, Choosing and Take Away preferences and Auctions.
  • The effects of extraneous variables. Are they a clue to preference change.
  • How would this affect marketing strategies?
  • Engaging the consumer. Quantitative vs qualitative.
  • Ignoring the necessity for validation.

Day 2


  • How do consumers generate numbers? What happens in the brain and why is it important?
  • What type of numbers do you get from scaling?
  • Sophisticated statistics, unsophisticated measurements.
  • Relative vs Absolute models and the use of the wrong model for consumers.
  • Rank-Rating versus Serial Monadic protocols.
  • The effects of memory distortion and forgetting.
  • Various hedonic scales: 9-point, LAM, LIM, action scales.
  • The 9-point hedonic scale: are we using the best analysis?
  • Precise and imprecise scales. It is fine if you know which is which.
  • When should hedonic scales be precise?
  • Are words and numbers interchangeable? Nodal effects.
  • Alternative analyses for the 9-point hedonic scale.
  • How should you use pure numerical scales?
  • Hedonic ranking: R-Index analysis and its advantages.
  • Using consumers’ inherent skills for measurement.
  • How many products can you rank. Too many stimuli? Two-stage ranking.
  • Pangborn’s preference problem, cross-cultural range bias.
  • How R-Index ranking is culture free and non-contextual.
  • Scale length. Problems with ANOVA.
  • Engaging the consumer. Quantitative vs Qualitative.
  • Overlooking the need for validation.


  • Not so new. Earnest Dichter
  • Why emotions? Predicting purchase behavior. Individualizing products.
  • Should we use emotion questionnaires from clinical psychology?
  • POMS, MAACL-R, PANAS, ESR etc etc. More negative than positive emotions. Fridja’s law.
  • How a psychologist constructs a questionnaire with built-in validity.
  • Food Science emotion questionnaires: Meiselman & King EsSense profiles.
  • Emotional measurement or word association?
  • Nonsense scaling. Validation.
  • Underlying emotional experience. Russell’s quadrants.
  • Pictorial emotional measures.
  • Psychological research: “I want it and I want it now!”. Impulse buying. Identity expression.
  • Thinking fast and thinking slow. Does it affect purchase intent?
  • Habit busting. Swahn/ICA.
  • Non-cognitive measures: the way of the future?
  • Cortical measures: fMRI. Sub region of the medial prefrontal cortex for better prediction.
  • Potential of other autonomic responses. EEG and preference scores are correlated.
  • Unconscious facial movements. Paul Ekman, Noldus, Dan Hill, PrEmo.Facial movements over the internet: Realeyes.
  • Where are we going? What should we do?
  • The need for validation. Does any of this work?

Course Venue

3593 Green Road, Commerce Park Four Office Building, Suite 525, Beachwood, Ohio 44122


Close to shopping centers and local attractions like the Rock and Roll Home of Fame and Museum, MicroTek's Cleveland training facility is 9 miles from the center of Downtown Cleveland.  Select rooms are also equipped with MicroTek’s Virtual Training Room technology. These specially designed spaces utilize the latest in audio and video conferencing tools and allow customers to deliver rich, interactive training to both on-site and remote class participants. Public areas include café and lounge areas where training participants can relax between sessions.
Please see for details of hotels with discounted rates.

Yes: Please enrol me in THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CONSUMER PREFERENCE Ohio 24 - 25 Septemberl 2018

Course Fee: $2000.00 Includes two lunches and course dinner, and course materials.
Remote attendance $1600.00 Using MCLABS Virtual Training rooms (
    The costs include support and training from Mclabs staff and courier your course materials

Fees reduced by 5% for members of academia - space limited.


Course Registration Fees



Number of Places

Course Fee


Virtual Training Room


Total: $

    Payments and Refund Policy    

Virtual Training Room

Attend training from the comfort of your home or office
Experience all the benefits of instructor-led training without the hassle of traveling. With Virtual Training Room, you can join a live training event from any location—whether you’re in a cube at work or at home, you’ll feel as if you are physically present in the classroom. Advanced classroom technology enables our presenters to deliver the same live instruction to you, whether you’re onsite and offsite.

Why Attend a Flex Class?

Convenience: Where you access a Flex Class is up to you. Join from a satellite classroom, virtual learning cube, home or office. All you need is a standard internet connection and a computer that has a camera and microphone.
Engaging Learning Event: Robust communication tools include two-way, high-definition video and audio, allowing you to interact with your instructor and fellow students as if you were physically present in the classroom. 
Easy-to-Use: No complicated software to buy or learn. The interface is intuitive and easy to navigate. In the event you need assistance, technical support is there to assist you pre, during and post event.

Joining a Virtual Training Room Event is Easy

  • No hardware or equipment to buy or install
  • No special software to learn
  • On call technical support (pre, during and post class)
  • Training prior to event upon request

We will send you a folder with all the class notes and exercises and you will be able to download the data sets. We will be able to watch you doing the exercises.

Yes I wish to attend a virtual training class.

Discounts: We offer a 10 % discount on registrations when two or more people from the same company register for the same course, at the same time.
Registration Policy:  Registration is not final until payment is received. Unpaid spaces will be opened to new registrants 30 days ahead of courses.
Payment:  Payment may be made in US dollars, Euros or GB pounds via the Worldpay Gateway or into Currency accounts. Contact for routing and IBAN details of the currency account you require.
Refund policy: Cancellation of registration can be made up to 30 days ahead, and return of payments, minus reasonable administrative expenses, will be made for these cancellations. Cancellations within 15 to 30 days of the course start will receive a credit for a future course. Registrants who fail to attend or cancel less than 15 days prior to the seminar start date are responsible for the entire fee. Substitution of another person for the same course may be made at any time. 

For electronic bank transfers: contact for IBAN details
Mailing address for registration and payment:
Dr H J H MacFie
43 Manor Road
Keynsham, Nr Bristol,
BS31 1RB, United Kingdom

Tel/Fax +44(0)1179863590

Electronic registration forms to