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We are very bad at recognizing and naming odors. Research has shown that because of this, odor naming and odor perception can be influenced by verbal labels and descriptions. In a number of behavioral experiments, we are testing to what extent different  labels or descriptions affect how odors are perceived, judged and remembered.

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GENDER AND FRAGRANCE DESCRIPTIONS

Do fragrance descriptions affect how we perceive and remember a fragrance? This project investigates whether fairly implicit features of language, such as grammatical gender, affect the way that male and female fragrances are perceived and subsequently remembered. For example, are German speakers more likely to buy a female fragrance that is described as smelling like “lemon” (“Zitrone”), a word with a feminine grammatical gender, compared to “apple” (“Apfel”), a word with masculine grammatical gender, because the gender of the fragrance matches the grammatical gender of the word?

WINE EXPERTS’ ODOR MEMORY

Wine experts are able to recognize and remember many different wines. Could this ability have its basis in language, or is it something else that sets apart wine experts’ odor memory from novices’? We are currently investigating the relationship between language and odor memory.  If you want to participate, please contact Ilja Croijmans.

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