MIT Researchers Read Consumers' Faces to Make a Better Taste Test

It happens all the time: Companies spend large amounts of money on focus groups and market research, only to have a new product fail when it’s introduced to the public.

Researchers at MIT are hoping to help change that, using some high-tech tools that measure the emotional reactions of people as they’re testing a new product.

Part of the problem, the researchers say, is that people have a tough time accurately describing how they feel about something.

“We know that self-reported feeling is very inaccurate,” said Rosalind Picard, an MIT professor who directs research into computing and human emotion. “We’ve measured when people say they like something, but their face is leaking all kinds of disgust.”

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