Framing Effect of Fragrances

Benjamin Hosseini-Mehr

Student thesis: Master thesis


Odorants are very emotionally arousing, as evident by the direct connection between the olfactory system and the emotional structures of the brain. With the emergence of neuroscientific devices, measuring subconscious emotional responses to odorants has become possible, which was not possible years ago. This opens opportunities for businesses that rely on odorants like fragrance companies or businesses that utilize scent marketing to obtain customer insights, which previously was not attainable. Previous behavioral economic research has found that consumers tend to use price as a proxy for the quality of a product, where higher prices indicate better quality of a product. However, whether that framing effect also will occur in the context of fragrances is unclear. This study aims to investigate whether the framing effect exists on fragrances. Specifically, it investigates whether a higher price leads to increased emotional arousal and a better subjective rating on the scent. 23 participants were recruited to a pupillometry experiment in Senselab at Copenhagen Business School to test the proposed hypotheses. The results showed that the framing effect does not exist in the context of fragrances. Increasing the price of the same fragrances did not generate arousing responses, nor did it lead to a better likening.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages107
SupervisorsSeidi Suurmets