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Arch Environ Health. 1997 May-Jun;52(3):195-9.

Sex differences in task performance associated with attention to ambient odor.

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Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


The effects of ambient odor (pleasant, unpleasant, none); odor suggestion (present, absent); and sex of subject on mood and performance measures were explored in a 3 x 2 x 2 experimental design. A total of 40 men and 40 women performed a clerical task and a speed and accuracy task (digit deletion), filled out self-evaluations of mood, predicted performance, and rated the odor quality of the test room. Ambient odor conditions significantly affected room smell ratings, but they had no effect on performance or mood. Odor suggestion produced a significant sex-related interaction effect on the digit deletion task, irrespective of actual ambient odor. The results are discussed with respect to sex differences observed in laboratory studies and in epidemiological investigations of multiple chemical sensitivity and sick building syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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