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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Validation of the Need for Smell Scale

Published: May 28, 2019


Monika Koller, WU Vienna; Thomas Salzberger, WU Vienna; Arne Floh, University of Surrey; Alexander Zauner, WU Vienna; Rick Schifferstein, Delft University of Technology; Maria Sääksjärvi, Delft University of Technology


Need for smell; multisensory product experience; scale development


The current paper contributes to the further development of the need for smell scale (NFS-scale). The NFS-scale is a multidimensional instrument, measuring the individual propensity to take a smell at a product in a purchasing context. Although multisensory experience in consumption is a current topic in marketing, little is still known about the variability in consumers in terms of individual propensities to actively engage their senses in purchase decision-making. This is specifically true for the olfactory sense. Research into the need for smell by consumers has long been hindered by the lack of measurement instruments. The proposed NFS-scale fills this gap. It consists of three related but conceptually distinct dimensions. First attempts at cross-national validation proved successful. The instrument is expected to stimulate empirical research in consumer behaviour using need for smell as an independent or moderator variable.