Jonah Lehrer wrote an article for Wired and the New Yorker indicating that it is best not to pay too much for a bottle of wine unless you are using the price to convince yourself that it is superior. According to the article’s sources blind taste tests have shown that people sometimes prefer less expensive wines from less famous wine regions when they are relying on taste alone. The optimum result might occur from using less expensive wines and putting a more impressive label on it.
It might be a good idea to check the sources for this conclusion, even though it may be true, just to make sure it isn’t a case of confirmation bias. Unfortunately the author, Jonah Lehrer, got into some trouble recently when a fellow journalist questioned him on some Bob Dylan quotes in his new best selling book, Imagine: How Creativity Works. Lehrer lost his job at the New Yorker when the publisher took exception to how his creativity worked. Sometimes it can be tempting for a journalist to mashup information to back up or dramatize their preconceived conclusion without proper fact checking. There are also many cases where incorrect information has been passed on because the assumed fact checking wasn’t done.
We may need to do our own extensive blind taste testing research (ala Coke vs. Pepsi) just to make sure.