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Age differences in olfactory affective responses: evidence for a positivity effect and an emotional dedifferentiation

Abstract : Studies on aging and hedonic judgment of odors have never been addressed within the empirical frameworks of age-related changes in emotion which state that advancing age is associated with a reduced negativity bias and a less pronounced differentiation between hedonic valence and emotional intensity judgments. Our aim was to examine and extend these age-related effects into the field of odors. Thirty-eight younger adults and 40 older adults were asked to evaluate the hedonic valence, emotional intensity, and familiarity of 50 odors controlled for their pleasantness. Compared to younger adults, older adults rated unpleasant odorants as less unpleasant and showed an increased relationship between hedonic valence and emotional intensity ratings. This yields evidence of reduced negativity bias and emotional dedifferentiation in response to odors. Such data suggest that when faced with odors, older people exhibit a reduction of emotional dimensionality leading them to distort emotional processing in a less negative direction.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02979327
Contributor : Sabine Julien <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 10:29:03 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - 3:34:12 AM

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Sandrine Vieillard, Lucas Ronat, Alessia Baccarani, Benoist Schaal, Jean-Yves Baudouin, et al.. Age differences in olfactory affective responses: evidence for a positivity effect and an emotional dedifferentiation. Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), In press, pp.1-14. ⟨10.1080/13825585.2020.1799926⟩. ⟨hal-02979327⟩

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