The effect of the human pheromone androstenol on product evaluation



The chemical communication between humans has received considerable attention recently. Among the findings in psychology and anthropology have been the effects of putative human pheromones on the evaluation of persons. This article investigates if the finding that the pheromone androstenol influences person evaluation extends to the evaluation of products. In a laboratory experiment, 120 participants randomly assigned to either an experimental or control group rated three magazines. It was found that male consumers evaluate male magazines as more masculine and more positively under the influence of the putative male pheromone androstenol, whereas no such effects were found for magazines rated neutral or feminine and with respect to female consumers. Possible contextual and other factors influencing these results are discussed. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.