The emotional influence of flowers on social perception and memory: An exploratory study

J. Mojet*, E.P. Köster, N.T.E. Holthuysen, R.J.F.M. Van Veggel, R.A. De Wijk, H.E. Schepers, F. Vermeer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Flowers are reported to have immediate and long-term effects on health and well-being, emotional reactions, mood, social behaviour and memory, but emotional effects have rarely been studied in more detail. Methods This study investigated the influences of flowers on emotional perception of others in healthy adults (n = 64), divided over 4 conditions (3 flower arrays and a flowerless control). The test included a projection test judging pictures of people. One week later memory regarding pictures in the projection test, roommates and the room they had been in, was tested. Results Flowers, positively affected peoples’ mood and their perception of others. With flowers, pictures of other people were judged more positively and less negatively than without flowers. Odorous flowers had a more negative effect. The people in the pictures seemed a bit more open, but clearly less friendly, more arrogant and more depressed under its influence. Furthermore, flowers had a positive influence on the remembrance of the room the participants had been in. Conclusion Flowers exert a more positive influence by their visual appearance than by their odour, and act more on people's feelings towards unknown others than on liking of the food they eat, whereas flowers have little impact on remembering eating situation aspects. Practical implication The use of flowers might perhaps be recommended for increasing relaxation and mutual understanding in public places (restaurants (non-odorous flowers), meeting rooms and waiting rooms).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-150
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Volume53
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Emotive projection test
  • Incidental memory
  • People's perception of others

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