A good odour to breathe? The effect of pleasant ambient odour on human visual vigilance.

Gould, Alison and Martin, G. Neil (2001) A good odour to breathe? The effect of pleasant ambient odour on human visual vigilance. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 15 (2). pp. 225-232. ISSN 0888-4080

Full text is not in this repository.


The present study examined the effect of an alerting and a relaxing odour on human visual vigilance. Three groups of undergraduates (N = 54) completed a sustained visual vigilance task which required them to respond whenever a target stimulus appeared on a computer monitor. One group completed the task in the presence of an alerting odour (peppermint), another did so in the presence of a relaxing odour (bergamot) and a third group completed the task in an unscented environment. A 2×3×2 (sex×odour×diurnal preference) MANOVA was performed in order to determine group differences in response times and number of correct detections. Participants in the bergamot condition detected fewer targets correctly within 1.25 seconds of the target appearing than did those in the peppermint or no-odour groups. Exposure to bergamot was also associated with significantly fewer correct detections in the second than in the first half of the task, when compared with the other two conditions. The results suggest that sustained exposure to a relaxing odour can impair visual vigilance.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:A. Middlesex University Schools and Centres > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Citations on ISI Web of Science:9
ID Code:3510
Useful Links:
Deposited On:29 Dec 2009 05:20
Last Modified:15 May 2014 16:20

Repository staff only: item control page

Full text downloads (NB count will be zero if no full text documents are attached to the record)

Downloads per month over the past year