One of the greatest accomplishments from the Food Acceptance Branch was the development of the 9-point hedonic scale. The scale length was determined experimentally (5, 7, 9, and 11). All proved similar in discrimination, but the 9-point length resulted in greater repeatability and due to the limitations of paper size and fixed pitch typewriters, the nine point was the scale of choice.
The 9-point scale originally was tested conceptually – directing the test subject to focus their attention toward their feeling about the food, and later with actual stimuli.
Soldiers test coffee in the mess hall at Fort Bragg (Department of Defense photo).