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Smell and Tell: Evoking Past Memories Using a Vanilla Odor

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Mikaela Magnusson
Sara Landström
Emma Roos Af Hjelmsäter
Publicerad i The 10th meeting of the Nordic Network for research on Psychology and Law (NNPL), Oslo, Norway, November 7-8, 2014
Publiceringsår 2014
Publicerad vid Psykologiska institutionen
Språk en
Ämnesord episodic memory, odor cue, witness recall, accuracy,
Ämneskategorier Tillämpad psykologi

Sammanfattning

Odors have continuously been identified as effective memory cues to evoke past memories. The purpose of the present study was therefore to investigate if olfactory exposure during encoding and retrieval could have memory facilitating effects within a forensic context. A 2 (Encoding: odor vs. no odor) x 2 (Retrieval: odor vs. no odor) between-subjects design was employed with 75 adolescents (Experiment I) and 97 undergraduate students (Experiment II). Amount and accuracy of recalled details from a video segment functioned as dependent variables. Both experiments revealed significantly higher accuracy rates for the participants exposed to a vanilla odor during memory retrieval. However, the facilitating effects emerged independent of previous encoding context. Utilizing a pleasant odor may, thus, be beneficial in an investigative interview setting to enhance accuracy. Smelling a pleasant scent during the interview might, in addition, have other positive effects (e.g. rapport building, mood and behavioral effects) on both the interviewer and the interviewee.

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