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Twelve subjects judged the pleasantness of five concentrations of the tastant sodium chloride, five concentrations of the odorant citral, and of all 25 possible mixtures of these, prepared in aqueous solution and presented in the mouth. Subjects judged the set of stimuli twice in a 1-h session and twice again in a second session approximately two weeks later. The single massed exposure produced an immediate effect, that is, pleasantness judgments were significantly more negative on the second presentation. Pleasantness also shifted as a result of spaced exposure, namely, after the two week interval the same stimuli were judged as significantly less negative than on previous exposure. Ten of the original subjects were retested in a second experiment a year later. Pleasantness judgments had shifted back to initial levels. Finally, in a third experiment manipulating the context in which the citral stimulus was presented significantly altered both the degree of pleasantness and the shape of the hedonic function.
pleasantness, hedonics, magnitude estimation, odor, taste, olfactory-taste mixtures, exposure, context
Assistant member, Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, Pa.