Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied
Management, Marketing and Business Administration
Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business
This research examines the impact of ambient odor on food consumption. The results of a field experiment and five lab experiments show that the presence of a warm ambient odor (e.g., cedarwood) versus a cool ambient odor (e.g., eucalyptus) reduces the amount of calories consumed and also leads to increased choice of lower-calorie food options. This is due to established implicit associations formed from the human body’s innate physiological response to changes in ambient temperature. Specifically, exposure to a warm (vs. cool) ambient odor, influences perceived ambient temperature, which in turn alters food consumption behaviors. The results of this research extend the limited research examining the temperature dimension of odor and enhance the understanding of the role of sensory cues in influencing food consumption. Further, given calorie consumption’s link to widespread obesity worldwide, this research provides important implications for health and wellbeing.
Lefebvre, S., & Biswas, D. (2019). The influence of ambient scent temperature on food consumption behavior. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 25(4), 753–764. https://doi.org/10.1037/xap0000226