Odor emotionality affects the confidence in odor naming

Chem Senses. 2005 Jan;30(1):29-35. doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjh254.


Previous research has demonstrated that participants are overconfident in the veracity of their odor identifications. This means that their confidence expressed as subjective probabilities is, on average, higher than the actual proportion of correct odor identifications. The current experiment tested the hypothesis that the more arousing an odor is, the more participants are overconfident in their identification of it. The results indicated that part of the overconfidence in odor identification can, indeed, be due to the arousing properties of the odors. This suggests that emotional variables should be taken into account when researching metamemory.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Memory*
  • Odorants*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Smell