The effect of appropriate and inappropriate stimulus color on odor discrimination
Color can strongly affect participants' self-report of an odor's qualities. In Experiment 1, we examined whether color influences a more objective measure of odor quality, discrimination. Odor pairs, presented in their appropriate color (e.g., strawberry and cherry in red water), an inappropriate color (e.g., strawberry and cherry in green water), or uncolored water were presented for discrimination. Participants made significantly more errors when odors were discriminated in an inappropriate color. In Experiment 2, the same design was utilized, but with an articulatory suppression task (AST), to examine whether the effect of color was mediated by identification or by a more direct effect on the percept. Here, the AST significantly improved discrimination for the inappropriate color condition, relative to Experiment 1. Although color does affect a more objective measure of odor quality, this is mediated by conceptual, rather than perceptual, means.
Perception & Psychophysics
Psychology not elsewhere classified