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J Exp Psychol Gen. 2003 Dec;132(4):595-606.

The effect of verbal context on olfactory perception.

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Dept of Psychology, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA.


Three experiments were conducted to examine how verbal context and sensory stimulation interact to influence odor hedonic perception. Eight common odors were presented in their natural and synthetic forms, and verbal labels designating name and source (natural, synthetic) information were either explicitly given, self-generated, falsely provided, or not provided. Results revealed that verbal information about source influenced hedonic ratings whether or not the odorant itself was also present. When odorants were presented without verbal labels, olfactory evaluations were based in sensation. Name and source information contributed different levels of meaning and influence to perceptual evaluations. The findings are discussed with reference to an experiential-collocation model for odor-label interactions and a dual-coding hypothesis for olfactory perception.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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