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We Can Determine Personality by Smell

Our ability to judge personality is nothing to sniff at
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2011 9:00 AM CST

(Newser) – You are what you reek? It turns out that we can tell a lot about someone's personality just by their smell, according to the New York Daily News. Sixty people in Poland wore the same T-shirt for three nights, and did not use soap, smoke, drink, or "eat odorous foods" during the study. Those shirts were then sniffed by 200 lucky volunteers, who were asked to judge the smells based on five personality traits, such as extroversion, neuroticism, and dominance.

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The results weren't perfect, but the smellers' predictions about extroversion and neuroticism were about as accurate as those of raters who made their judgments after watching a video. MyHealthNewsDaily notes that the smell-testers did especially well in detecting dominance in members of the opposite sex. (Read more sense of smell stories.)

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