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Title: The Reverse Spotlight Effect: The Impact Of Perfume On Perceptions Of The Self
Authors: Inchauspe, Alice
Advisors: Tamir, Diana
Department: Psychology
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: Hyperawareness of something on our person brings about a false impression of being under a spotlight. This "spotlight effect" happens when you believe that others are paying more attention to you than they actually are. The reversal of this spotlight effect is thought to take place with respect to perfume as the result of olfactory adaptation. We explore whether subjects underestimate how noticeable their perfume is to others. We provide evidence for the existence of a reverse spotlight effect through olfactory adaptation with a reported underestimation of 38.6% (p-value = 4.8e-06) between perceived and actual olfactory perception. Our results suggest that we not only adapt to our constant smell but also to our stable characteristics, personality traits or physical traits, numbing ourselves to their impact on the first impressions we make on others.
Extent: 71 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Psychology, 1930-2017

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