Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Publication Title

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.


This is an Accepted Article published by APA PsychNet in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, available at



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