Associations between Normative and Pathological Personality Traits and Hedonic Judgment of Odor Vary by Sex

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Associations between Normative and Pathological Personality Traits and Hedonic Judgment of Odor Vary by Sex

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Background and Purpose: Normative personality traits (Larsson et al., 2000; Pause et al., 1998; Shepherd et al., 2017) and sex (Brand & Millot, 2010) appear to be related to odor detection sensitivity, identification, and hedonic judgment. However, sex differences in associations between olfaction and normative and pathological personality traits have not yet been studied. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether associations between select normative and pathological personality traits and olfactory function vary by sex. Subjects: 134 University students (Male N=63; Female N=71) participated in the study for course credit. Materials and Methods: Participants completed the PID-5 (Kruger et al., 2012) and the NEO-PI-3 (Costa & McCrae, 2010). Odor detection sensitivity, identification, and hedonic response (pleasantness and unpleasantness) were assessed using Sniffin’ Sticks (Hummel et al., 1997). Multiple linear regression analyses were performed separately for each measure, and stratified by sex, to examine associates between eight NEO-PI-3 and eight PID-5 facets hypothesized to be related to olfaction. Results: Regarding NEO-PI-3 facets in females, Depression (β=.431, p=.010) and Fantasy (β=-.341, p=.024) predicted odor pleasantness ratings while vulnerability predicted odor identification (β=-.477, p=.002); in males, olfaction was not related to any NEO-PI-3 facets. For the PID-5 facets, Restricted Affectivity predicted odor pleasantness ratings in males (β=-.366, p=.037), whereas in females, Depressivity (β=.454, p=.005) predicted odor pleasantness ratings. In males, Anhedonia (β=-.737, p=.004), Depressivity (β=.672, p=.006), Restricted Affectivity (β=.542, p=.001) and Suspiciousness (β=.302, p=.047) predicted odor unpleasantness ratings, while Anhedonia (β=.443, p=.013) and Depressivity (β=-.397, p=.015) predicted odor unpleasantness ratings in females. Conclusions: Most notably, associations between odor unpleasantness ratings and PID-5 anhedonia and depression differed by sex; less anhedonia and more depression predicted higher odor unpleasantness in males while the converse was found in females. Implications of these findings on personality assessment research will be discussed.

Publication Date

4-24-2019

Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Julie Walsh Messinger

Primary Advisor's Department

Psychology

Keywords

Stander Symposium poster

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Presenters: Sahar Kaouk, Michael Alexander Lee, Brooke Lois Lipnos

Associations between Normative and Pathological Personality Traits and Hedonic Judgment of Odor Vary by Sex

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