Journal Article

Psychometrics of Odor Quality Discrimination: Method for Threshold Determination

Mats J. Olsson and William S. Cain

in Chemical Senses

Volume 25, issue 5, pages 493-499
Published in print October 2000 | ISSN: 0379-864X
Published online October 2000 | e-ISSN: 1464-3553 | DOI:
Psychometrics of Odor Quality Discrimination: Method for Threshold Determination

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There is no natural physical continuum for odor quality along which an odor quality discrimination (OQD) threshold can be measured. In an attempt to overcome this problem, the substitution–reciprocity (SURE) method defines a framework for the measurement of an OQD threshold. More specifically, it (i) defines a threshold concept for OQD, including the quantification of qualitative change of the stimulus, and (ii) suggests how to avoid perceived intensity as an unwanted cue for discrimination. In doing this, the psychometric properties of odor quality in the case of eugenol and citral are investigated using both discrimination (experiment 1) and scaling (experiment 2). Based on discriminatory responses, a change of approximately one-third in stimulus content was needed to reach the OQD threshold for eugenol and citral.

Journal Article.  4095 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Molecular and Cell Biology

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