It Smells Good But Feels Bad: The Cross Cueing Effects of Olfactory Induced Emotion on Self-Regulation
Can our sense of smell influence our ability to self-regulate? The following thesis examined whether or not olfactory cues could influence a cognitive measure of self-regulation, and whether this effect would be moderated by goals. Further, it was proposed that emotion would mediate the relationship between scents and self-regulation. A total of 127 participants took part in the study. Magazine covers were used to prime either health or indulgence goals and participants were exposed to either an appetitive scent (baking cookies) or a non-appetitive scent (lavender) with the aim of creating emotional conflict. Self-regulation was measured by performance on a Stroop task. Goals were found to interact with scent type in order to yield differing impacts on self-regulation, however, the predicted mediating effects of emotion were unsupported.