Savannah (Downey) Charleston, M.S.
Education: Bachelor of Science in psychology (May 2005)
Master of Science in clinical psychology from Missouri State University
McNair Project: The Effects of a Positive or Negative Experience on the Ratings of Scents Present at that Time (2004)
Mentor: Jerome Frieman, Ph.D.
This evaluative conditioning experiment investigated whether a positive or negative experience affected ratings of scents present at that time. The female experimenter, while wearing perfume, pretended to rate each subject’s physical attractiveness using a fictitious computer program. Subjects then received one of two fake attractiveness scores: either a 46 or 84 out of 100. To determine if the score given to the subjects affected their mood, subjects filled out a survey pertaining to their current mood. Subjects then rated six different perfumes, one of which the experimenter was wearing during the bogus attractiveness evaluation. Females who received a high rating of physical attractiveness rated the perfume worn by the rater higher than those who received a low rating of physical attractiveness. However, males who received a high rating of physical attractiveness rated the perfume worn by the rater lower than those who received a high rating of attractiveness.