Gabriella and I are both fascinated with the potency of smell as a multi-level channel of information. We want to create a similar experiment to Smell Dating from Tega for our project.
As what Tega advised us, since there are many questions involving smell that are still unsolved, it is better to treat this project as a fun experiment rather than something informative.
Due to the limitation of time, we are still in the process of our experiment. We tied our little experiment with ITP Spring Party, hoping to give people some incentives and also lower down the hurdle as we are all going to the same party anyways. We were able to distribute black T-shirts in a way that avoided participants knowing who else is participating, and have our participants wear it for 3 consecutive days during our spring break. We chose black T-shirts sho that it is easier for people to wear in all occasions without having to constantly worry about making the T-shirt dirty.
As the Spring Party is postponed by a week, we planned on collecting all the T-shirts on Wednesday. We will then cut the T-shirts into samples on Thursday, and then present them to people who we will group together based on their sexual preference, allergies, and etc. Then we plan to have the participants rank the smell of the samples, and then we would give our a survey for them to describe the smells so that we could further analyze the relationship between smells and descriptive words. As Tega also mentioned, English does not have descriptive words for smells.
Eventually, we would give out the contacts of people who rank each other the highest, so that they could further see where it would lead them to. And maybe by secreting observing the pairs attending our Spring Party, could we have a little glimpse of how trust-worthy our natural olfactory sensor is.