Body Odors

From freshidea / Fotolia

An accumulating body of evidence shows that humans - as many other animal species - use smells from conspecifics to transfer socially-relevant information such as familiarity (see my work on the maternal odor), ethnicity (see my work on ethnic odor signatures), emotional states (see my work on disgust and fear body odors), attitudes (see my work on aggression).

Furthermore, the effects of this type of chemosignal communication can be consequential, both in terms of decisions (see my work on how body odors shape moral choices) and in terms of behaviors (see my work on how the odor of anxiety affects dental professionals).

A better understanding of how human body odors influence social cognition and behavior can help unravel the behavioral, psycho-physiological and neural processes underlying the human social function.

Valentina Parma
Valentina Parma
Research Assistant Professor in Psychology