Modern Psychological Studies
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Research was undertaken to see if it is possible for females to identify their mother or daughter by olfactory cues alone. Twenty-two females, 11 daughters and 11 mothers, participated in the experiment. Mothers ranged in age from 37 to 46 and daughters ranged in age from 11 to 21. Each subject was blindfolded and asked to smell (hairline level) the necks of two different individuals. The individuals consisted of one relative (a mother or a daughter) and one control subject. Each subject, of course, was asked to identify her relative. Seventeen of the 22 subjects correctly identified her relative (p < .01, 2-tailed binomial test). A second experiment was administered to determine if subjects could correctly distinguish between cotton pads that had been placed, for the duration of experiment one, under the arm of another subject and under that of a relative. Fifteen of the 22 subjects correctly identified the cotton pad of their relative, (p <.05, 2-tailed binomial test). The null hypothesis that there would not be a statistically significant difference in the number of females able to recognize their mother or daughter and those who could not was rejected.
BF1 .M63 v. 2 no. 2 1994
Johnson, Linda N.
"Mother-daughter olfaction identification,"
Modern Psychological Studies: Vol. 2
, Article 4.
Available at: http://scholar.utc.edu/mps/vol2/iss2/4