The Starbucks-Study

To measure the willingness-to-pay, we ran a university funded study.


We asked subjects to come to the lab and recorded their EEG. On a screen we presented them with the price for a small cup of Starbucks coffee. Immediately after that we showed them a either the word “cheap” or “expensive”.

The subject then either agrees or disagrees via button press, thus telling us whether he or she perceived the price as cheap or expensive. This way we were able to record the brain response to the price and to the attributes expensive and cheap.

In the following graph one can see the brain response to the presented price. It is one component of the immediate brain response, which is strongest when the price is reasonable. However, when the brain had to process unexpected prices, feelings like shock, doubt or surprise surfaced.

We were able to visualize their equivalents in the EEG data via a series of complex analyses. As you can see in the graph, the brain reacts stronger to a matching price than to one that doesn’t fit. The strength of the brain response at the different electrode positions is illustrated in colors.

© 2019, The Neuromarketing Labs GmbH  All Rights Reserved

Phone: +49 7191 34028-30


The Neuromarketing Labs GmbH
Stuttgart Office

Siemensstr. 3

71546 Aspach



Executive Board:  

Prof. Dr. Kai-Markus Müller


Registration Office: 
Amtsgericht Stuttgart

Register Number:

HRB 765481


VAT Number: 


DE   l   EN