Does Personality Smell? Accuracy of Personality Assessments Based on Body Odour


Agnieszka Sorokowska, Institute of Psychology, University of Wroclaw, ul. Dawida 1, Wroclaw 50–527, Poland.



People are able to assess some personality traits of others based on videotaped behaviour, short interaction or a photograph. In our study, we investigated the relationship between body odour and the Big Five personality dimensions and dominance. Sixty odour samples were assessed by 20 raters each. The main finding of the presented study is that for a few personality traits, the correlation between self-assessed personality of odour donors and judgments based on their body odour was above chance level. The correlations were strongest for extraversion (.36), neuroticism (.34) and dominance (.29). Further analyses showed that self–other agreement in assessments of neuroticism slightly differed between sexes and that the ratings of dominance were particularly accurate for assessments of the opposite sex. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.