Subjects were exposed to familiar and unfamiliar brand names in either a pleasantly scented or unscented environment. A computer recorded how much time they took to evaluate each brand. After a distracter task, their memory for the brand names was tested with recall and recognition measures. The results indicate that the presence of a pleasant ambient scent improved brand evaluations, especially for unfamiliar brands. Neither mood nor arousal appeared to mediate this process. The pleasant ambient scent also improved recall for unfamiliar, but not familiar, brand names. Analysis indicated that this process was mediated by attention, that is, the amount of time spent evaluating brand names. Recognition was not affected significantly by scent. Implications, limitations, and areas for future research are discussed. J BUSN RES 2000. 49.157-165.
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