Know anyone whose personality stinks?
This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.
Scientists know humans can judge some personality traits just from photos. Other studies have found body odor conveys information about age, gender, and fertility.
Boldly combining the concepts, Polish researchers asked, Can people judge personality traits from body odor?
The team had 60 people--half of each gender--sleep in clean cotton T-shirts for three nights. During that time, they were asked not to smoke, use scented products or deodorants, or eat stinky foods.
In personality surveys, the subjects also rated themselves on six traits: neuroticism, extraversion, dominance, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness to experience.
Then, one hundred volunteers sniffed six shirts each. They rated the shirts for the same traits.
Results? Sniffers' judgments agreed with survey ratings--more than would happen by chance. The results were especially close for dominance, extraversion, and neuroticism.
Note: the sniffers were not paid for their work. Wow. Their openness to experience must be off the charts!
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