Virtual Reality Scents (04-05-21)

Sabiniewicz directed a research team that found that adding scents to virtual reality experiences may affect how pleasant they seem.  The group determined via a project during which “participants were divided into three groups, including two experimental virtual reality (VR) environments [still scenes]: a rose garden, an orange basket, and a control condition. In each VR condition, participants were exposed to a rose odor, an orange odor, or no odor. . . Virtual scenarios tended to be remembered as more pleasant when presented with congruent odors [i.e., rose odor with the rose garden]. . . . in the case of rose odor, the VR scenario in both sessions tended to be rated as more pleasant in congruent condition than in incongruent condition, while for orange odor, this effect was not found. . . . odors presented in congruent and incongruent conditions possibly modulate the pleasantness of VR scenarios but do not make them more memorable.”

Agnieszka Sabiniewicz, Elena Schaefer, Guducu Cagdas, Cedric Manesse, Moustafa Bensafi, Nadejda Krasteva, Gabriele Nelles, and Thomas Hummell.  2021.  “Smells Influence Perceived Pleasantness but Not Memorization of a Visual Virtual Environment.”  I-Perception, vol. 12, no. 2, https://doi.org/10.1177/2041669521989731