Cross-modality priming between odors and odor-congruent words

Paul Pauli, Lyle Eugene Bourne, Heike Diekmann, Niels Birbaumer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


It is well known that the Stroop effect is subject to influence by same-modality primes, but the possibility of cross-modal priming effects is unclear. Smell is a fundamental sensory system that is assumed to have potent cross-modality priming effects. We might expect the presence of a specific odor to interfere with performance on Stroop cards containing odor-congruent words. Forty participants, half of whom were primed with an unpleasant odor and half with a pleasant odor, were examined with modified Stroop cards containing pleasant and unpleasant descriptive words. A significant Stroop card by odor group interaction was found, indicating that the presence of an odor interferes with the performance on an odor-congruent Stroop card. These findings demonstrate cross-modality priming between olfaction and vision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-186
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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    Pauli, P., Bourne, L. E., Diekmann, H., & Birbaumer, N. (1999). Cross-modality priming between odors and odor-congruent words. American Journal of Psychology, 112(2), 175-186.