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No effect of ambient odor on the affective appraisal of a desktop virtual environment with signs of disorder.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(11):e78721.Plos

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Desktop virtual environments (VEs) are increasingly deployed to study the effects of environmental qualities and interventions on human behavior and safety related concerns in built environments. For these applications it is essential that users appraise the affective qualities of the VE similar to those of its real world counterpart. Previous studies have shown that factors like simulated lighting, sound and dynamic elements all contribute to the affective appraisal of a desktop VE. Since ambient odor is known to affect the affective appraisal of real environments, and has been shown to increase the sense of presence in immersive VEs, it may also be an effective tool to tune the affective appraisal of desktop VEs. This study investigated if exposure to ambient odor can modulate the affective appraisal of a desktop VE with signs of public disorder.

METHOD

Participants explored a desktop VE representing a suburban neighborhood with signs of public disorder (neglect, vandalism and crime), while being exposed to either room air or subliminal levels of unpleasant (tar) or pleasant (cut grass) ambient odor. Whenever they encountered signs of disorder they reported their safety related concerns and associated affective feelings.

RESULTS

Signs of crime in the desktop VE were associated with negative affective feelings and concerns for personal safety and personal property. However, there was no significant difference between reported safety related concerns and affective connotations in the control (no-odor) and in each of the two ambient odor conditions.

CONCLUSION

Ambient odor did not affect safety related concerns and affective connotations associated with signs of disorder in the desktop VE. Thus, semantic congruency between ambient odor and a desktop VE may not be sufficient to influence its affective appraisal, and a more realistic simulation in which simulated objects appear to emit scents may be required to achieve this goal.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Perceptual and Cognitive Systems, TNO, Soesterberg, The Netherlands ; Department of Information and Computing Sciences, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24250810

Citation

Toet, Alexander, et al. "No Effect of Ambient Odor On the Affective Appraisal of a Desktop Virtual Environment With Signs of Disorder." PloS One, vol. 8, no. 11, 2013, pp. e78721.
Toet A, van Schaik M, Theunissen NC. No effect of ambient odor on the affective appraisal of a desktop virtual environment with signs of disorder. PLoS One. 2013;8(11):e78721.
Toet, A., van Schaik, M., & Theunissen, N. C. (2013). No effect of ambient odor on the affective appraisal of a desktop virtual environment with signs of disorder. PloS One, 8(11), e78721. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0078721
Toet A, van Schaik M, Theunissen NC. No Effect of Ambient Odor On the Affective Appraisal of a Desktop Virtual Environment With Signs of Disorder. PLoS One. 2013;8(11):e78721. PubMed PMID: 24250810.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - No effect of ambient odor on the affective appraisal of a desktop virtual environment with signs of disorder. AU - Toet,Alexander, AU - van Schaik,Martin, AU - Theunissen,Nicolet C M, Y1 - 2013/11/08/ PY - 2013/06/24/received PY - 2013/09/20/accepted PY - 2013/11/20/entrez PY - 2013/11/20/pubmed PY - 2015/3/31/medline SP - e78721 EP - e78721 JF - PloS one JO - PLoS One VL - 8 IS - 11 N2 - BACKGROUND: Desktop virtual environments (VEs) are increasingly deployed to study the effects of environmental qualities and interventions on human behavior and safety related concerns in built environments. For these applications it is essential that users appraise the affective qualities of the VE similar to those of its real world counterpart. Previous studies have shown that factors like simulated lighting, sound and dynamic elements all contribute to the affective appraisal of a desktop VE. Since ambient odor is known to affect the affective appraisal of real environments, and has been shown to increase the sense of presence in immersive VEs, it may also be an effective tool to tune the affective appraisal of desktop VEs. This study investigated if exposure to ambient odor can modulate the affective appraisal of a desktop VE with signs of public disorder. METHOD: Participants explored a desktop VE representing a suburban neighborhood with signs of public disorder (neglect, vandalism and crime), while being exposed to either room air or subliminal levels of unpleasant (tar) or pleasant (cut grass) ambient odor. Whenever they encountered signs of disorder they reported their safety related concerns and associated affective feelings. RESULTS: Signs of crime in the desktop VE were associated with negative affective feelings and concerns for personal safety and personal property. However, there was no significant difference between reported safety related concerns and affective connotations in the control (no-odor) and in each of the two ambient odor conditions. CONCLUSION: Ambient odor did not affect safety related concerns and affective connotations associated with signs of disorder in the desktop VE. Thus, semantic congruency between ambient odor and a desktop VE may not be sufficient to influence its affective appraisal, and a more realistic simulation in which simulated objects appear to emit scents may be required to achieve this goal. SN - 1932-6203 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24250810/No_effect_of_ambient_odor_on_the_affective_appraisal_of_a_desktop_virtual_environment_with_signs_of_disorder_ L2 - https://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0078721 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -