University of Twente Student Theses


The influence of scent on the selection of products in a binary choice task

Melis, A.G. (2021) The influence of scent on the selection of products in a binary choice task.

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Abstract:Past studies in the field of Neuromarketing led to contradicting results about the effect of scent on consumer behavior. The present study contributes to previous research by investigating the effect of scent on spatial attention and consumer behavior in the decision-making process. To achieve this aim, an experiment was conducted in which the electroencephalography (EEG) of 27 participants was measured while they performed a binary choice task. Participants were shown a presentation of pairs of wine labels ans asked to choose their preferred one, while the background scent was manipulated (neutral scent, lavender scent, peppermint scent). Results showed that the incongruent scents of lavender and peppermint did not have a significant effect on spatial attention (analyzed with Posterior Contralateral Negativity), reaction time, as well as on the preference for a specific product label. However, the visual presentation of labels did have a significant effect on both participants’ spatial attention and their preference for a label. Interestingly, results suggested that even though spatial attention was affected by a specific label, this label did not end up being the preferred one, regardless of the background scent. The present study confirms the results of previous studies suggesting that although the scent does not show a significant effect on consumer responses to retail environments, attractive packaging plays an important role in attracting consumers’ attention.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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