Lavender EO and Trust

RESEARCH: Lavender essential oil and trust.

This study is the first to demonstrate that scent can have an impact on interpersonal trust. In this 2014 study, Lavender, Peppermint, or no scents were present in a room where a Trust Game was being played. A survey on affect (mood/feelings) was also conducted. They observed that, compared to peppermint and control (no aroma) exposure, being exposed to lavender aroma increased interpersonal trust. By comparison, being exposed to peppermint aroma did not reduce interpersonal trust compared to the control (no aroma) condition.

How does it work? They think that the calming scent of lavender temporarily induces a more inclusive cognitive-control state that, in turn, influences the extent to which people trust others.

What does it mean?
"Our results might have various serious implications for a broad range of situations in which interpersonal trust is an essential element, such as cooperation (e.g., mixed-motives situations), bargaining and negotiation, consumer behavior, social bonding, and group performance. As in the case of a previous study (Baron, 1997), which showed that prosocial behavior was significantly greater in the presence of “sweet” fragrances (e.g., baking cookies, roasting coffee), smelling the aroma of lavender may help a seller to establish more easily a trusting negotiation to sell a car, or in a grocery store it may induce consumers to spend more money buying products. The smell of lavender may also be helpful in sport psychology to enhance trust and build team spirit, for example in the case of team games such as soccer and volleyball.'

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