The effect of color intensity and appropriateness on color-induced odor enhancement

Debra A. Zellner, Lori A. Whitten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Coloring solutions has been shown to increase perceived odor intensity. In Experiment 1, subjects rated the odor intensity of red strawberry and green mint solutions that had four levels of color intensity. Ratings of strawberry odor peaked at the medium color intensity and ratings of mint odor increased monotonically with color intensity. Thus, color-induced odor enhancement can increase with increasing color intensity but need not. Experiment 2 found that the color intensities producing maximum odor enhancement in Experiment 1 are not always the ones perceived as most appropriate for the odorants. Using different odors, Experiment 3 found that color intensity has some influence on the strength of the color-induced odor enhancement and color appropriateness has little. The presence or absence of color in the solution seems to be the most important variable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-604
Number of pages20
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999


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