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Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 28 Feb 2018 Sense of smell can p ...

Sense of smell can predict what kind of political candidate you will back

Published Feb 28, 2018, 4:20 pm IST
Updated Feb 28, 2018, 4:20 pm IST
Sense of smell has more influence on human behaviour than your realise.
Sense of smell can predict what kind of political candidate you will back. (Photo: Pixabay)
 Sense of smell can predict what kind of political candidate you will back. (Photo: Pixabay)

Researchers have found sense of smell has the power to influence human behaviour.

Now, a team at Stockholm University in Sweden have discovered how you react to body odour can help indicate your political preference, the Daily Mail reported.


For the study, participants completed a survey that was dispensed to various countries including the United States (US). American participants were asked questions that ranged from smell to which candidate they planned to vote for in 2016.

Those who were disgusted by odours like urine and sweat had a higher possibility of voting for Donald Trump. People who were sickened by these kinds of smells seemed to be drawn to authoritarian political leaders, according to study author Jonas Olofsson.

He feels this might stem from a deep desire to avoid infectious diseases.

"There was a solid connection between how strongly someone was disgusted by smells and their desire to have a dictator-like leader who can suppress radical protest movements and ensure that different groups 'stay in their places'," Olofsson is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

Adding, "That type of society reduces contact among different groups and, at least in theory, decreases the chance of becoming ill."

Previous research led by Johan Lundstrom, PhD, found evolutionary factors play a role in how the brain processes body odours in a different way from other smells.

'We believe that throughout evolution, these body odours have been tagged as important stimuli, so they've been given dedicated neural networks to process them,' Lundstrom, a faculty member at the Monell Chemical Senses Centre in Philadelphia, said in an article for the American Psychological Association.