Affective Dimensions of Odor Perception: A Comparison Between Swiss, British, and Singaporean Populations



Ferdenzi C, Schirmer A, Roberts SC, Delplanque S, Porcherot C, Cayeux I, Velazco M, Sander D, Scherer KR & Grandjean D (2011) Affective Dimensions of Odor Perception: A Comparison Between Swiss, British, and Singaporean Populations. Emotion, 11 (5), pp. 1168-1181.

Do affective responses to odors vary as a function of culture? To address this question, we developed two self-report scales in the United Kingdom (Liverpool: LEOS) and in Singapore (city of Singapore: SEOS), following the same procedure as used in the past to develop the Geneva Emotion and Odor Scale (GEOS: Chrea, Grandjean, Delplanque et al., 2009). The final scales were obtained by a three-step reduction of an initial pool of 480 affective terms, retaining only the most relevant terms to describe odor-related subjective affective states and comprised of six (GEOS) or seven affective dimensions (LEOS and SEOS). These included dimensions that were common to the three cultures (Disgust, Happiness Well-being, Sensuality Desire, and Energy), common to the two European samples (Soothing Peacefulness), and dimensions that were culture specific (Sensory Pleasure in Geneva; Nostalgia and Hunger Thirst in Liverpool; Intellectual Stimulation, Spirituality, and Negative Feelings in Singapore). A comparative approach showed that the dimensional organization of odor-related affective terms in a given culture better explained data variability for that culture than data variability for the other cultures, thus highlighting the importance of culturespecific tools in the investigation of odor-related affect.

olfaction; affective experience; self-report; cross-cultural differences; dimensional models of emotion

Emotion: Volume 11, Issue 5

Publication date31/10/2011
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association

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Professor Craig Roberts
Professor Craig Roberts

Professor of Social Psychology, Psychology