The Scent of Collaboration: Exploring the Effect of Smell on Social Interactions


Conference paper


Siddharth Mehrotra, Anke Brocker, Marianna Obrist, Jan Borchers
CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts (CHI ’22 Extended Abstracts), ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2022

DOI: 10. 1145/3491101.3519632

View PDF ACM DL Supplementary Files
Cite

Cite

APA
Mehrotra, S., Brocker, A., Obrist, M., & Borchers, J. (2022). The Scent of Collaboration: Exploring the Effect of Smell on Social Interactions. In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts (CHI ’22 Extended Abstracts). ACM, New York, NY, USA.

Chicago/Turabian
Mehrotra, Siddharth, Anke Brocker, Marianna Obrist, and Jan Borchers. “The Scent of Collaboration: Exploring the Effect of Smell on Social Interactions.” In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts (CHI ’22 Extended Abstracts). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2022.

MLA
Mehrotra, Siddharth, et al. “The Scent of Collaboration: Exploring the Effect of Smell on Social Interactions.” CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts (CHI ’22 Extended Abstracts), ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2022.


Social interactions are multisensory experiences. However, it is not well understood how technology-mediated smell can support social interactions, especially in collaborative tasks. To explore its effect on collaboration, we asked eleven pairs of users to work together on a writing task while wearing an interactive jewellery designed to emit scent in a controlled fashion. In a within-subjects experiment, participants were asked to collaboratively write a story about a standardized visual stimulus while exposed to with scent and without scent conditions. We analyzed video recordings and written stories using a combination of methods from HCI, psychology, sociology, and human communication research. We observed differences in both participants' communication and creation of insightful stories in the with scent condition. Furthermore, scent helped participants recover from communi-cation breakdown even though they were unaware of it. We discuss the possible implications of our findings and the potential of technology-mediated scent for collaborative activities.