Saturday, December 9, 2017

Perfume is more pleasant if labeled with expensive brands

“Dior, J’adore”: The role of contextual information of luxury on emotional responses to perfumes. Tiffany Baer et al. Food Quality and Preference,

•    We tested the effect of contextual information of luxury on affective responses.
•    We presented nine perfumes with a luxurious, a non-luxurious and no label.
•    We used subjective, physiological and expressive indicators of affective responses.
•    Participants tended to rate luxurious perfumes as more pleasant and familiar.
•    Physiological and expressive responses were not sensitive to contextual information.

Abstract: Luxury conveys values of quality and rarity and holds a particular emotional meaning. Yet, studies conducted on the impact of contextual information of luxury on emotional responses to products remain scarce. In this study, we tested whether contextual information, in particular evoking luxury, could influence emotional responses to perfumes, which are known to be powerful elicitors of emotion. More specifically, we measured the subjective, physiological, and expressive components of participants’ emotional responses. We conducted an experiment in which participants had to smell and assess perfumed pens as well as blank pens (i.e., without perfume) presented either in a luxurious context (i.e., name, brand and bottle), a non-luxurious one, or no information. Results indicated that participants tended to rate perfumes as more pleasant and rated them as more familiar when presented in a luxurious context than in a non-luxurious one or without context, and the blank pen as more irritating in a non-luxurious context than in a luxurious one. However, we did not find evidence of a significant contextual information effect on expressive or physiological indicators. Our findings suggest that contextual information of luxury can moderately influence the subjective component of participants’ emotional responses, while no evidence for such effect was found with respect to the physiological and expressive components.

Keywords: Emotional response; Contextual information; Luxury; Perfumes; Psychophysiological measures

Sexually objectifying women reduces empathy: An fMRI investigation

Reduced empathic responses for sexually objectified women: an fMRI investigation, Carlotta Cogoni, Andrea Carnaghi, Giorgia Silani. Cortex,

Abstract: Sexual objectification is a widespread phenomenon characterized by a focus on the individual´s physical appearance over his/her mental state. This has been associated with negative social consequences, as objectified individuals are judged to be less human, competent, and moral. Moreover, behavioral responses toward the person change as a function of the degree of the perceived sexual objectification. In the present study, we investigated how behavioral and neural representations of other social pain are modulated by the degree of sexual objectification of the target. Using a within-subject fMRI design, we found reduced empathic feelings for positive (but not negative) emotions toward sexually objectified women as compared to non-objectified (personalized) women when witnessing their participation to a ball-tossing game. At the brain level, empathy for social exclusion of personalized women recruited areas coding the affective component of pain (i.e., anterior insula and cingulate cortex), the somatosensory components of pain (i.e., posterior insula and secondary somatosensory cortex) together with the mentalizing network (i.e., middle frontal cortex) to a greater extent than for the sexually objectified women. This diminished empathy is discussed in light of the gender-based violence that is afflicting the modern society.

Keywords: Sexual Objectification; Empathy; Social exclusion; fMRI; Anterior Insula