In the decades-long battle of the colas, Coke continues to outsell Pepsi. Not because it costs less or tastes nicer, but because we, the consumer, just think that it's better. Let me explain.

Back in the early 1980s, a series of taste tests found that most people actually preferred the taste of Pepsi over Coke. Provided, that is, they were blindfolded during the challenge and couldn't see which one they were drinking. However, run the challenge without the blindfolds and the results were almost always reversed. Coca Cola—or Coke as it is universally known—proved itself time again to be the real thing. But why?

Well, years later, Reed Montague and his team at the Neuro-imaging Laboratory in Houston ...

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