Gender differences in nasal chemesthesis: a studyof detection and perceived intensity
2011 (English)In: Chemosensory Perception, ISSN 1936-5802 (Print) 1936-5810 (Online), Vol. 4, no 1/2, 25-31 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Women are generally more intolerant than men to ambient substances, for which sensory irritation plays an important role. The aim of the present study was to compare women and men with respect to response bias and sensitivity in irritation detection and to irritation intensity. Twelve women and 12 men were exposed to six concentrations of amyl acetate generated by a dynamic olfactometer. Each concentration was presented eight times in randomized order. Clean-air presentations were interrandomized among the series of amyl acetate stimuli to assess and control for response bias. Ratings of irritation intensity were performed with a Borg CR-100 scale. No gender difference in overall irritation detection sensitivity was found, but a significantly steeper psychometric detection function for women implies keener detectability at relatively high concentrations and poorer detectability at low concentrations. A higher false-alarm rate and higher intensity ratings for blank stimuli for women compared to men did almost reach statistical significance. The data showed no overall gender difference in irritation intensity, but a less steep power function for irritation intensity for women, with relatively weak concentrations being perceived as stronger by women than by men. The results suggest no overall gender difference in irritation detectability, but a larger increase in detectability among women across the stimulus span. The tendency of gender differences in response bias implies differences in strategies when detecting possible health hazards. These strategies together with weak concentrations being perceived as stronger may contribute to women being more intolerant than men to ambient substances.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer , 2011. Vol. 4, no 1/2, 25-31 p.
Chemosomatosensory, Psychophysics, Response bias, Sensory irritation
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-45668DOI: 10.1007/s12078-011-9084-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-45668DiVA: diva2:433243