Scientific article
Open access

Mapping the semantic space for the subjective experience of emotional responses to odors

Published inChemical senses, vol. 34, no. 1, p. 49-62
  • Open Access - Licence nationale Oxford University Press
Publication date2009

Two studies were conducted to examine the nature of the verbal labels that describe emotional effects elicited by odors. In Study 1, a list of terms selected for their relevance to describe affective feelings induced by odors was assessed while participants were exposed to a set of odorant samples. The data were submitted to a series of exploratory factor analyses to 1) reduce the set of variables to a smaller set of summary scales and 2) get a preliminary sense of the differentiation of affective feelings elicited by odors. The goal of Study 2 was to replicate the findings of Study 1 with a larger sample of odorant samples and participants and to validate the preliminary model obtained in Study 1 by using confirmatory factor analysis. Overall, the findings point to a structure of affective responses to odors that differs from the classical taxonomies of emotion such as posited by discrete or bidimensional emotion theories. These findings suggest that the subjective affective experiences or feelings induced by odors are structured around a small group of dimensions that reflect the role of olfaction in well-being, social interaction, danger prevention, arousal or relaxation sensations, and conscious recollection of emotional memories.

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affective Symptoms/psychology
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Odors
  • Smell/physiology
  • Switzerland
  • Young Adult
Citation (ISO format)
CHREA, Christelle et al. Mapping the semantic space for the subjective experience of emotional responses to odors. In: Chemical senses, 2009, vol. 34, n° 1, p. 49–62. doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjn052
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0379-864X

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