Scent of lemons can make you feel thinner and lighter but vanilla makes you feel heavier, study finds
- Scientists investigated if sounds and scents can influence a person’s body image
- Found lemon scent makes people feel thinner and so does sound of stilettos
- But heavy footprints and smell of vanilla makes people feel heavier
When life gives you lemons, you should take a moment to savor the fresh, citrus scent as it makes you feel better about your body, a study claims.
Body image is susceptible to vision and touch and researchers at the University of Sussex investigated if sound and smell alter a person’s perception of their body.
They found sniffing lemons helps people feel thinner, while the odour of vanilla can make you feel thicker and heavier.
When life gives you lemons, you should take a moment to savor the fresh, citrus scent as it makes you feel better about yourself, a study claims
Sounds of light footsteps like those made by stilettos can also promote a better body image, it claims.
Giada Brianza, a PhD student at the University of Sussex and lead researcher on this work, said: ‘Our study shows how the sense of smell can influence the image we have in our mind of our body and on the feelings and emotions towards it.
‘Being able to positively influence this perception through technology could lead to novel and more effective therapies for people with body perception disorders or the development of interactive clothes and wearable technology that could use scent to enhance people’s self-confidence and recalibrate distorted feelings of body weight.’
These impact of either smell or sound was further amplified when combined with the other sense, the research also reveals.
Professor Marianna Obrist from the University of Sussex, said: ‘Previous research has shown that lemon is associated with thin silhouettes, spiky shapes and high-pitched sounds while vanilla is associated with thick silhouettes, rounded shapes and low-pitched sounds.
‘This could help account for the different body image perceptions when exposed to a range of nasal stimuli.
‘One of the interesting findings from the research is that sound appears to have a stronger effect on unconscious behaviour whilst scent has a stronger effect on conscious behaviour.’
The findings were presented at 179th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.
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