University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

The effect of ambient odour and sound on environmental evaluations.

Dryden, Ruth. (2004) The effect of ambient odour and sound on environmental evaluations. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (36MB) | Preview


As part of research on the effects of the environment on behaviour, the current thesis reported two studies examining evaluations made of the environment when aspects were changed. The hypothesis derived from Mehrabian and Russell's (1974) theory stated that changes in the environment would only affect evaluations when these changes influence the emotional (pleasure and arousal) states of the individual. Furthermore, changes in the complexity and familiarity within the environment influence emotional states and consequently evaluations. In contrast. Canter's (1977, 1983) theory predicts that evaluations are affected by the changes in the environment only when the goals of the individual also change simultaneously. The current thesis examined elements of the theories by asking participants to assess various aspects of their immediate physical environment in relation to their emotional states and goals while the sound and/or the odour-were manipulated. Participants in Study 1 were exposed to a "cut-grass" odour and "mower" sound, which were considered as being unidentifiable. During Study 2, a different set of participants was exposed to relatively identifiable stimuli consisting of a "coffee" odour and "cafeteria" sound. The goals were kept constant across the conditions as participants carried out the same tasks across the conditions, hi both studies participants were required to identify the sound and the odour and given a list of words to rate in terms of their relationship to the sound and odour in their environment. The studies revealed that the evaluations corresponding to the emotional states were a function of the whether the sound could be identified. The manipulation of the unidentifiable sound influenced the extent to which the environment was considered as being pleasant and marking participants to feel ill whereas the manipulation of the identifiable sound did not change these evaluations. However the evaluations were not a function of whether the odom- could be identified. Although the data from the studies provided support for some of the elements of Mehrabian and Russell's (1974), and Canter's (1983) theories, these theories do not adequately account for the differential effect of the sound and the odour manipulation. It was concluded that future research into the effects of the environment should consider the combined contribution of the emotional and purposive responses within a theoretical framework.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Dryden, Ruth.
Date : 2004
Contributors :
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 09 Nov 2017 12:15
Last Modified : 15 Mar 2018 17:24

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800