Use of Sense of Smell in Determining Environmental Quality

  • Trygg Engen
Conference paper
Part of the Environmental Science Research book series (ESRH, volume 1)


The avoidance of harmful situations and agents often depends on man’s ability to assess odor characteristics. Although a few odors, for example, lemon, are considered pleasant and clean and are used for commercial purposes, odors are generally considered unhealthy annoyances to be removed from the air. This is in line with the view held by the World Health Organization’s definition of health26 as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” The present emphasis will be the subjective or mental experience of odor. No attempt will be made to describe the physical or chemical attributes of the sources of odors; neither will any space be devoted to the physiological or anatomical characteristics of the olfactory system.20


False Alarm Olfactory System Difference Threshold Correct Rejection Psychophysical Function 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Trygg Engen
    • 1
  1. 1.Walter S. Hunter Laboratory of PsychologyBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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