Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Psychology, Criminal Justice and Sociology

First Advisor

Dr. John Bechtold


The purpose of this study was to test the effects of aroma on word recall and determine how aroma interacts with the memory strategy used in a paired-word associative memory task. Twenty-nine undergraduates were randomly assigned to a room diffusing either Doterra essential oil blend Motivate or pure peppermint essential oil. Students memorized a list of 20 word-pairs using either repetitive or elaborative rehearsal. Following a delay, students recalled the second word in the pair after being given the first word as a prompt. Participants using the elaboration memory strategy recalled more words than those using the repetition memory strategy. There was also a significant interaction on the perception of felt motivation between aromas and memorization strategies. This research may be helpful to consumers or students seeking to understand if any particular essential oil or oil blend facilitates cognitive functioning. Future research could compare several different aroma blends to see if they improve specific types of memory tasks.


IRB approval: 2021-048

Written as part of Honors 499

Anders-ppt.pdf (445 kB)