Publications by authors named "Ilse Gortemaker"

4 Publications

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The role of fragrance and self-esteem in perception of body odors and impressions of others.

PLoS One 2021 15;16(11):e0258773. Epub 2021 Nov 15.

Department of Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Human sweat odor serves as social communication signal for a person's traits and emotional states. This study explored whether body odors can also communicate information about one's self-esteem, and the role of applied fragrance in this relationship. Female participants were asked to rate self-esteem and attractiveness of different male contestants of a dating show, while being exposed to male participant's body odors differing in self-esteem. High self-esteem sweat was rated more pleasant and less intense than low self-esteem sweat. However, there was no difference in perceived self-esteem and attractiveness of male contestants in videos, hence explicit differences in body odor did not transfer to judgments of related person characteristics. When the body odor was fragranced using a fragranced body spray, male contestants were rated as having higher self-esteem and being more attractive. The finding that body odors from male participants differing in self-esteem are rated differently and can be discriminated suggests self-esteem has distinct perceivable olfactory features, but the remaining findings imply that only fragrance affect the psychological impression someone makes. These findings are discussed in the context of the role of body odor and fragrance in human perception and social communication.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0258773PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8592444PMC
December 2021

Chemical Fingerprints of Emotional Body Odor.

Metabolites 2020 Feb 28;10(3). Epub 2020 Feb 28.

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 1, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Chemical communication is common among animals. In humans, the chemical basis of social communication has remained a black box, despite psychological and neural research showing distinctive physiological, behavioral, and neural consequences of body odors emitted during emotional states like fear and happiness. We used a multidisciplinary approach to examine whether molecular cues could be associated with an emotional state in the emitter. Our research revealed that the volatile molecules transmitting different emotions to perceivers also have objectively different chemical properties. Chemical analysis of underarm sweat collected from the same donors in fearful, happy, and emotionally neutral states was conducted using untargeted two-dimensional (GC×GC) coupled with time of flight (ToF) MS-based profiling. Based on the multivariate statistical analyses, we find that the pattern of chemical volatiles (N = 1655 peaks) associated with fearful state is clearly different from that associated with (pleasant) neutral state. Happy sweat is also significantly different from the other states, chemically, but shows a bipolar pattern of overlap with fearful as well as neutral state. Candidate chemical classes associated with emotional and neutral sweat have been identified, specifically, linear aldehydes, ketones, esters, and cyclic molecules (5 rings). This research constitutes a first step toward identifying the chemical fingerprints of emotion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/metabo10030084DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7142800PMC
February 2020

Beyond the west: Chemosignaling of emotions transcends ethno-cultural boundaries.

Psychoneuroendocrinology 2018 12 7;98:177-185. Epub 2018 Aug 7.

Department of Social, Health, & Organizational Psychology, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 1, 3584 CS, Utrecht, the Netherlands; Unilever R&D, Olivier van Noortlaan 120, 3133 AT, Vlaardingen, the Netherlands.

Accumulating evidence has pointed to a human capacity to communicate emotions to others via sweat. So far, these studies have relied exclusively on Western Caucasian samples. Our aim was to test whether the chemosensory communication of emotions extended beyond ethno-cultural boundaries, from Western Caucasians (N = 48) to East Asians (N = 48). To test this, we used well-validated materials and procedures, a double-blind design, a pre-registered analysis plan, and a combination of facial electromyography (EMG) and continuous flash suppression techniques to measure unconscious emotions. Our results show that East Asian (and Western Caucasian) female receivers exposed to the sweat (body odor) of fearful, happy, and neutral Western Caucasian male senders emulate these respective states based on body odors, outside of awareness. More specifically, East Asian (and Western Caucasian) receivers demonstrated significantly different patterns of facial muscle activity when being exposed to fear odor, happy odor, and neutral odor. Furthermore, fear odor decreased the suppression time of all faces on an interocular suppression task (IST), indicating subconscious vigilance, whereas happy odor increased the detection speed of happy faces. These combined findings suggest that the ability to perceive emotional signals from body odor may be a universal phenomenon.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.08.005DOI Listing
December 2018

Front-of-pack nutrition labelling: testing effectiveness of different nutrition labelling formats front-of-pack in four European countries.

Appetite 2008 Jan 3;50(1):57-70. Epub 2007 Jun 3.

Unilever Food and Health Research Institute, Olivier van Noortlaan 120, 3133 AT Vlaardingen, The Netherlands.

In two studies, the impact of eight front-of-pack nutrition labelling formats that differed in complexity was investigated across four European countries. In total 1630 men and women (18-55 yrs) were recruited from Internet panels in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands for study 1 and 776 in Italy and the United Kingdom for study 2. Participants evaluated several products (healthier and less healthy variants of the same product category) with a front-of-pack nutrition labelling format. The first study evaluated different labelling formats on consumer friendliness (comprehension, liking and credibility) and the second study measured the effect of the different labelling formats on decision-making (usage intention and process time). The results indicated minor differences in consumer friendliness and usage intention between simpler (such as Healthier Choice Tick, Smileys and Stars) and more complex front-of-pack nutrition labelling formats (such as Multiple Traffic Light, Wheel of Health and GDA scores). Endorsement by national and international health organisations strongly increased the labelling formats' credibility. Participants needed significantly less time to evaluate simpler front-of-pack labelling compared to the more complex labelling format. Thus simpler front-of-pack labelling formats seem more appropriate in a shopping environment where quick decisions are made.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2007.05.009DOI Listing
January 2008
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