Background: This study on smells and facial attractiveness by Dematte and Osterbauer and Spence was an experiment. It was conducted in a laboratory. This study was conducted to see whether or not smells affected facial attractiveness. There were five smells used (male fragrance, body odor, geranium, clean air and rubber). This study presented smells for a short period of time to see if that short period of time modulated any certain kind of attractiveness.


New Methodology: Field Experiment. I chose this because I would like to see how smells affect attractiveness when they don't think anything of the smells. This would allow for a a natural setting and better results because these random people are not expecting any certain smells. This also allows for me to manipulate a few factors for the sake of results and the study while at the same time not controlling too many factors so that the results are skewed.


Participant Group: Males and females are both going to be targeted when we seek out someone to observe. The mean ages are from children all the way to adults. We want a large variety of data that can be applied to different stages of human life. We will attempt to have at least 10 children. 10 teens, and 10 adults in order to get an array of each age group while also balancing male and females 5 and 5.


Procedure: Our male and/or female (whoever turn it was at the time) would approach someone who they thought was around one of the three stages of life we targeted and had assistance via a very discrete earpiece from one of our 3 researchers (hidden in a van away from the area we were at, watching on video, guiding them through the process). Our volunteer was someone who we had come to us as a result to a job listing in order to participate in our study. Our volunteer male or female (not previously rated attractive or unattractive) would ask them when they were born and if they preferred men or woman. This allowed for us to know whether or not the participant was heterosexual. From there, our volunteer would proceed to act interested in this person while we would observe how the person reacted to the smell they encountered that particular time as well as their responses to our volunteer. We previously set up areas that contained one of our pre-determined 4 smells. The way we accomplished these previously set up areas is we went to the site we were going to be at the night before and planted certain smells in natural lying areas. For instance, one area was the trash can; here we planted the smell of rotten food, our second spot was underneath a bench where we placed a non conspicuous device that sprayed out the smell of gardenia flowers . The third spot was an area of flowers that we planted and put the same device in the soil that sprayed nothing but clean air. our fourth and final spot was the playground equipment where we once again planted our device in which sprayed a female perfume. Our device sprayed out its specific smell every minute. We stayed in the same park throughout the entire study. We recorded the data by having our volunteer ask their final question as; do you think I am attractive. us researchers recorded their response. After the study we had each participant fill out a scale rating the person they encountered on a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being the ugliest and 10 being the best looking.


Data: We are collecting qualitative and quantitative data. We are collecting our data off of our participants responses. We are recording the data by having our volunteer ask their final question as; do you think I am attractive. us researchers recorded their response. Our volunteer would act interested in the person while we would observe how the person reacted to the smell they encountered that particular time as well as their responses to our volunteer. We previously set up areas that contained one of our pre-determined 5 smells. The way we accomplished these previously set up areas is we went to the site we were going to be at the night before and planted certain smells in natural lying areas. This method is useful because we do not have to worry about numbers, instead we can focus on how the person responds to the smells and our volunteers questions. We are able to observe the participants in a natural way while also gathering data based on how attractive or unattractive they thought our volunteer was. At the end of the study we gave each participant a rating scale to rate the volunteer they encountered on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 was considered the worse and 10 was considered the best.


Conclusion: When I do this study I expect to find out how smells in a natural, not set up (at least the participants do not know it is set up) environment affect or don't affect the attractiveness or unattractiveness of a person. I think that the results of this study will support the results of the original study, which stated; Ratings were not affected by whether the odor was body relevant (body odor, male fragrance) or not (rubber, geranium, clean air). These results support previous research. In my case, it would say that the responses to the volunteer were not affected by whether the odor was body relevant or not.


Debriefing: You have been deceived for the sake of this study. You were subjected to natural smells that you were unaware of their location and then approached our male or female volunteer who asked you a series of questions in which you answered just thinking he or she was hitting on you. You then answered their question on whether or not you thought they were attractive. That is where our research took place as we, (hidden in a van away form the park) recorded your answer and stored it to be put into our database for evaluation at the end of the study. We appreciate your time and cooperation with our study.


Strengths: high ecological validity
match pair for the participants each group (childhood, adolescences, and adulthood) had an even number of males and females

Weakness: low control
ethics

Ethics: ethics were in question in this study with the deception as well as asking the volunteer asking the participant whether or not they were heterosexual.