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Curiously enough, one factor that is being rather overlooked when it comes to interindividual differences but is otherwise granted close attention as far as cultural differences are concerned, is diversity in olfactory environments and the formative effect of odor exposure.
It is widely acknowledged that differences in olfaction between individuals coming from different cultures stem from long-term, frequent exposure to certain odors within specific contexts.
"We tend to think of ourselves as separate from the environment, but we're not.
We create our environment."Hers and others' research is showing that smell can influence our thoughts and behaviors more expected.
Cross-cultural differences are one level at which the effects of living in diverse olfactory environments are manifested but they are also sure to give rise to interindividual differences in olfaction within a given culture.
Research Papers Smell Affecting Behaviour
The ways in which odor exposure in everyday life shapes an individual’s olfactory abilities and metacognition, i.e.To test this, we collected data on olfactory abilities using the Sniffin’ Sticks and odor awareness with Children’s Olfactory Behaviors in Everyday Life Questionnaire in 153 preschool children and retested them one and a half year later.Parents completed an inventory on children’s exposure to a variety of odors and on their own odor awareness using the Odor Awareness Scale.Although these effects were rather small, they were commensurate in size with those of gender and age.To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to present evidence that diversity in children’s olfactory environment affects variation in their olfactory abilities and odor awareness.The researchers perfumed a room with a floral smell, classic fragrances like Chanel No.5 or Johnson & Johnson baby powder or non-scented air.In the second part of the test, the participants entered another room containing a mime and were asked to direct him to act out an emotion from their childhood memory.Participants in the florally scented room used about three times as many happiness-related words in their writings and were more likely to approach and touch the mime while instructing him.Just 15 percent of the participants in the fresh air room moved toward or touched the mime, while most of the floral participants (74 percent) did so.Floral evolution"It [the floral smell] actually is a mood manipulator," said study researcher Patricia Wilson of La Salle University in Philadelphia.