The development of an attitudes towards the sense of smell questionnaire (SoSQ) and a comparison of different professions' responses

Martin, G. Neil and Apena, Feyishola and Chaudry, Zinath and Mulligan, Zelda and Nixon, Claire (2001) The development of an attitudes towards the sense of smell questionnaire (SoSQ) and a comparison of different professions' responses. North American Journal of Psychology, 3 (3). pp. 491-502. ISSN 1527-7143

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A number of fictional and scientific accounts emphasise the importance of the sense of smell to humans, but no study has systematically examined people's attitudes and beliefs about the olfactory sense. An Attitudes Towards the Sense of Smell Questionnaire was constructed to measure people's beliefs concerning the sense of smell, its importance and its uses. It was administered to 105 participants from occupations in which odour is considered important to varying degrees (17 bakers, 19 florists, 17 chefs, 52 controls). Respondents made self-ratings of their olfactory sensitivity and efficiency, their ability to detect and their ability to identify odour. Principal components analysis produced a four factor solution. These factors were: Liking for People, Places and Objects Associated with Odour, Emotional Responses to Odour, Dispensibility of Odour and the Uses and Efficacy of Odour. Each occupation's response on the sensitivity, efficiency, ability to detect and ability to identify odour measures and for each factor was analysed by a 4 (group) × 2 (sex) × 2 (age) independent groups ANOVA. Older florists rated their sense of smell as being more efficient than did younger florists and chefs rated their ability to identify smells as significantly better than that of florists and controls. No significant main effect of group was found for any factor but a significant sex × group interaction was observed for the Emotional Responses to Odour factor: women in the control group regarded sense of smell as being capable of generating greater emotion than did men. Possible clinical applications are suggested. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:Middlesex University Schools and Centres > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
ID Code:3516
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Deposited On:29 Dec 2009 07:03
Last Modified:15 May 2014 16:20

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