Olfactory and auditory stimuli in health care : influence on consumer perception of health services.
Toh, Xin Li.
Ong, Destiny Shan Shan.
Khoo, Guat Mui.
Date of Issue2008
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
While research has shown the independent effectiveness of olfactory and auditory stimuli in influencing perceptions and reducing anxiety, the combined interactive effects of these ambient cues have not been examined in the health care sector. Based on Wickens’ Multiple Resource Theory (1984), this research seeks to examine the effectiveness of olfactory and auditory stimuli in influencing fear reduction and service perception in dental environments. As communications to reach potential consumers for healthcare services are tightly regulated, we therefore seek to adapt audio advertising as an alternative communications medium for the health care context. Using between-subjects factorial design, experiments were conducted in dental clinics on 150 subjects. Findings indicated that an olfactory stimulus is superior to an auditory stimulus in enhancing service perception and message recall. We also observed that with the use of olfactory stimuli, audio advertising achieved significant increase in message recall rates. Hence audio advertising may be a viable communication tool for health care providers.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University