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Odor detection sensitivity and response bias in relation to aspects of health
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. (Forskargruppen för särskild miljökänslighet)
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Chemical intolerance (CI) means that the affected individual experience symptoms from the smell of the weak concentrations of conventional chemicals in the environment that most people are not bothered by. This study aimed to examine whether response bias (beta) and sensitivity index (d´) for odor detection correlate with self-rated health, CI, stress and distress. The questionnaires that were used to answer the question were self-rated health (SRH), CI (assessed with the Chemical Sensitivity Scale), stress (Perceived Stress Scale) and distress (Symptom Check List-90). A group of 23 adult individuals between the ages of 18 to 55 years expected to vary in degree of CI were exposed to various concentration of n-butanol for a signal detection test for about 2 hours. The data processing was done by correlational analyses. The results showed no statistically significant correlations between beta and the variables SRH, CI, stress and distress, but tendencies of significant correlations between d´ and the variables SRH, CI and stress, such that individuals who were high in CI, stress and who generally felt poorly had a lower odor sensitivity (d´). These tendencies encourage continued study of the associations with larger sample size.    

Abstract [sv]

Kemisk intolerans (KI) innebär att den drabbade individen upplever symtom från lukten av svaga koncentrationer av konventionella kemikalier i miljön som de flesta människor inte besväras av. Denna studie syftade till att undersöka om respons-bias (beta) och känslighetsindex (d´) för luktdetektion korrelerar med självskattad hälsa, KI, stress och allmän hälsa. De frågeformulär som användes för att svara på frågan var självskattad hälsa (SRH), KI (bedömd med Chemical Sensitivity Scale), stress (Perceived Stress Scale) och allmän mental hälsa (Symptom Check List-90). En grupp av 23 vuxna individer i åldrarna 18 till 55 år som förväntades variera i grad av KI exponderades för olika koncentrationer av n-butanol för ett signaldetektionstest under 2 timmar. Dataprocessen gjordes med korrelationsanalyser. Resultatet visade ingen statistisk signifikant korrelation mellan beta och variablerna SRH, KI, stress och allmän hälsa, men tendenser av signifikanta korrelationer mellan d´ och variablerna SRH, KI och stress, på så sätt att individer som var höga i KI, stress och som allmänt kände sig mentalt dåliga hade en lägre luktkänslighet (d´). Dessa tendenser uppmuntrar till fortsatta studier av association med större stickprovstorlek.               

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 15 s. p.
National Category
Applied Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-118014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-118014DiVA: diva2:911635
Subject / course
Examensarbete i psykologi
Educational program
Study Programme for University Diploma in Psychology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2016-03-14 Created: 2016-03-09 Last updated: 2016-03-14Bibliographically approved

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