CARoma Therapy: Pleasant Scents Promote Safer Driving, Better Mood, and Improved Well-Being in Angry Drivers

D Dmitrenko, Emanuela Maggioni, G Brianza, BE Holthausen, BN Walker, Marianna Obrist
in CHI '20: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Conference paper (text)

Abstract

© 2020 ACM. Driving is a task that is often affected by emotions. The effect of emotions on driving has been extensively studied. Anger is an emotion that dominates in such investigations. Despite the knowledge on strong links between scents and emotions, few studies have explored the effect of olfactory stimulation in a context of driving. Such an outcome provides HCI practitioners very little knowledge on how to design for emotions using olfactory stimulation in the car. We carried out three studies to select scents of different valence and arousal levels (i.e. rose, peppermint, and civet) and anger eliciting stimuli (i.e. affective pictures and on-road events). We used this knowledge to conduct the fourth user study investigating how the selected scents change the emotional state, well-being, and driving behaviour of drivers in an induced angry state. Our findings enable better decisions on what scents to choose when designing interactions for angry drivers.