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Smellizing Cookies and Salivating: A Focus on Olfactory Imagery

Aradhna Krishna, Maureen Morrin and Eda Sayin
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 41, No. 1 (June 2014), pp. 18-34
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1086/674664
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/674664
Page Count: 17
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Smellizing Cookies and Salivating: A Focus on Olfactory Imagery
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Abstract

The concept of olfactory imagery is introduced and the conditions under which imagining what a food smells like (referred to here as “smellizing” it) impacts consumer response are explored. Consumer response is measured by: salivation change (studies 1 and 2), actual food consumption (study 3), and self-reported desire to eat (study 4). The results show that imagined odors can enhance consumer response but only when the consumer creates a vivid visual mental representation of the odor referent (the object emitting the odor). The results demonstrate the interactive effects of olfactory and visual imagery in generating approach behaviors to food cues in advertisements.

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