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    What your nose knows: Affective, cognitive, and behavioral responses to the scent of another person



    Summary: The body odor of other relevant people has significant psychological and physiological effects upon a person.

    Source: Current Directions in Psychological Science.

    The sense organs of our body are the pathway through which all kinds of information enters us. We see, smell, hear, taste, feel different stimuli to understand what is going on around us. This includes so many different dimensions of information that we can hardly comprehend.

    People are found to readily perceive and therefore react to the body odors of other people. This perception and reaction creates a wide range of implications for which includes the affective, cognitive, and behavioral responses.

    In an article, the psychologists of University of British Columbia have provided a detailed overview of the relevant recent research that has been done in this area. They have invested extreme effort to summarize the process by which people are found to associate the body odors with different kinds of people, and their interpersonally relevant information.

    The study attempted to briefly review two lines of research on emitted responses of a person towards the strangers’ body odors. This included the researches which were on olfactory cues and emotions, the researches based on olfactory cues and impression formation, and review the new research on the psychological consequences that occurred as an outcome of smelling loved ones’ odors, which included the important consequences like significant reduction of stress and the sleep enhancement.

    The researchers have concluded with a detailed discussion of emerging research questions and methodological considerations which will not only help but also guide future inquiry into the various ways in which the body odors of other people influence one’s emotions, relationship cognitions, and health.

    Published: Current Directions in Psychological Science.

    Contact: Marlise K. Hofer, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia.

    Details: Image source Istock


    Hi, I’m Aarti, My Psychoanalytical approach towards my clients is to empower them to better their lives through improving their relationship with themselves. I believe shame and guilt is a common barrier to change. I aim to guide my clients through re authoring their narratives where shame, guilt, and other problems have less power and take up less space.

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