A number of considerations arise from the
experiments made, and while further experimental investigation is needed with regard to the various problems mentioned, it is possible to draw certain definite conclusions.
Each odour causes a feeling of pleasantness
or of unpleasantness, an affect characteristic of the
stimulus, and which may be expressed by the mean of the affective reactions given by an adequate number of subjects. The degree of pleasantness or unpleasantness may also be expressed by the percentage of the number of pleasant affects recorded.
The affect is dependent on many factors,
partly connected with the osmyl, such as concentration and chemical stability, and partly connected with the subject, such as health, sex, and the affective tone of associations. These factors are to a large degree interdependent, as when catarrhal or catamsnial and other conditions influence respiratory air currents and thereby intensity of the stimulus.
While no sexual differentiation was marked in the reactions to the majority of stimuli used in the experiments, . such a differentiation may be observed, in the case of a few osmyls, such as cedarwood oil, camphor, menthol, musk, and valerian.
While each odorous stimulus possesses an
affective power characteristic of the stimulus, each
subject has an olfactory affective syndrome characteristic of the subject. Marked deviations in a subject, from the mean affect to any given odour, are symptomatic of special physical or mental (e.g.associative) conditions, transitory or permanent.
Although the sense of smell was not specially
educated in the majority of subjects, a large number of associations revealing the correct appreciation of olfactory sensations were given.
It was found expedient to classify olfactory
associative reactions in the six categories: synaesthetic, contracted, expanded, indirect, egocentric and doubtful. More detailed classifications based on the paths of association, or strictly conforming to Jung's classification of associations, are possible, but difficult (e.g. are some associations, lime cedarwood oil - pine oil, sandalwood oil, not comparable to clang reactions in certain cases?).
The ratio between contracted and expanded
reactions, varies considerably in response to the
different osrnyls, as well as in the different subjects
It is possible to use smell-word associations
for analytic purposes in the same way as word-word associations, in suitable subjects. Owing to the pervasiveness of odours, suitable stimuli associated with most phases of human life could be selected to recall specific places, events, or persons, directly or indirectly,
An odour constitutes a more effective way of
characterising an object or place than a verbal description, however, the absence of a vocabulary of olfactory sensations raises difficulties.
Association time and psycho-galvanic phenomena can be utilised with associative reactions to odours, as with reactions to words.
The purely affective nature of many associative reactions to odours is indubitable, and is indicated in the case of various associations usually interpreted in another way.
The fact that most olfactory associations
are formed unconsciously, makes their investigation one of some considerable practical importance, especially when linked up with the olfactory associations occasionally recorded in dreams.
It is desirable that the mean affect due to as many different odours as possible, as well as
different intensities of the same odour, should be
determined in different races, also the nature and
extent of the associations formed.