Can you tell what someone’s personality is like by smelling them?


By smell alone people were able to detect extraversion, neuroticism and dominance at levels that were above random chance:

People are able to assess some personality traits of others based on videotaped behaviour, short interaction or a photograph. In our study, we investigated the relationship between body odour and the Big Five personality dimensions and dominance. Sixty odour samples were assessed by 20 raters each. The main finding of the presented study is that for a few personality traits, the correlation between self-assessed personality of odour donors and judgments based on their body odour was above chance level. The correlations were strongest for extraversion (.36), neuroticism (.34) and dominance (.29). Further analyses showed that self–other agreement in assessments of neuroticism slightly differed between sexes and that the ratings of dominance were particularly accurate for assessments of the opposite sex. 

Source: “Does Personality Smell? Accuracy of Personality Assessments Based on Body Odour” from European Journal of Personality

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