Odors Summon Emotion And Influence Behavior, New Study Says

College students frustrated by playing a rigged computer game in a scented room later exhibited that frustration when they inhaled the same smell, according to a new study by a Brown University psychologist. The study provides further evidence for a growing body of research that indicates emotions can become conditioned to odors and subsequently influence behavior, according to Rachel S. Herz, assistant professor of psychology at Brown. Sixty-three female undergraduates at Brown University participated in the two-pronged study, which used novel scents developed in a laboratory so that the students would not have any previous emotional connections to them. Any potential subjects who noted that a scent “reminded” them of another smell did not take part.