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Full Version: Summary and thought on JV Kohl's poster presentation
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 When looking at research it is important to ask what is being tested, and what is being measured.  In J.V. Kohl's poster presentation they are testing Flirtatious behavior and subjective personlaity traits.  Where this differes from other pheromone testing that I've read so far, is that there is an objective effort to measure observable behavior.  In this case, certain behaviors (eye contyact, Hair, etc.) were counted by multiple observers for both control and experiment groups.  The personality ratings were subjective, but used a standard method of assesing such traits.    As has been reported previously, the combination used in JVK's Scent of Eros, did indeed show an increase in the measured behaviors, and the subjective rating of attractiveness.  The findings were strong enough that by standard measure, the results were not likely to be due to random chance.  Now, with every study, there are of course limitations.  The glaring one in this case is that it only used women of average age 20, during thier ovulatory phase,  who were not on hormonal birth control.  Another being, the male in question was 21 years old of unknown hormonal status.  So we can only take an educated guess at the results if we were to test 40 year old women on BC with a 40 year old man with borderline low T.  As such, with out repeated experiments, we must be careful not to draw too broad a conclusion.  While this experiment is a great first step in proving that pheromones do indeed influence human behaviour.  It most clearly identifies the need for further research in other populations, and with other combinations.  Until such time arrives we have to use the empirical observations of communities like this one.  Unfortunately the data here is only as reliable as the person doing the reporting.  Keep your own good counsel and realize that pheromones aren't magic, they are a tool.  Like any craftsman, the outcome depends on the skill of the person using the tool.

I would like to thank Mr Kohl for sharing this with me. i had an enjoyable time reading his presentation and looking up his references cited. I look forward to more of his research.

Thank you Kevin. You're points are well taken and the issue of using a larger 65 men/65 women, albeit somewhat similar age (ave 23), sample population was addressed by colleagues that include Martha McClintock. (Olsson, MJ, Lundstrom, JN, Esteves, F, Arriaga, P, McClintock, MK)

They used our study design, but tested androstadienone, because that's what they've been working with during the past decade. It did not surprise me when they concluded that: "The current results reject the idea that Androstadienone enhances flirting behavior within couples."

Controlling for age and menstrual cycle phase is a must in attempts to show statistically significant behavioral affects. Not that we are forcing that issue with our study design; we just try to provide the most natural conditions possible, as would be present in any other animal interactions, which provide the basis for our research. It is my mammalian model that supports the anecdotal reports suggesting pheromones work across all age groups, and at different times and places. But trying to pinpoint cause and effect (e.g. on hormones like LH), and the affect of the likely hormonal change on behavior, is the goal. So, like many others we use college students, although we try not to treat them too much like lab rats.

We benefited a great deal through Linda Kellahan's involvement in the study. She basically took it over from her professor, Heather Hoffmann, who had initially agreed to do a follow-up of one done in her department several years earlier, which followed my study design. I suspect it is much easier for a college student to study other college students than it would be for a professor, or someone like me to do so. Indeed, it was Linda who added the questions about the women's level of attraction in a second study using an odor mask control, which I advised her against doing. I didn't think we could accomplish anything further, because it would be difficult to determine what affect, if any, might be due to a consciously perceived odor. Then, after our results were in, I learned of work by others that showed fragrance enhances the affect of axillary secretions (i.e., pheromones). Lenochova, P. Havlicek, J. Oberzaucher, E. Grammer, K. (2008) "...our second analysis shows that perfume is not merely masking the body odour, but rather that some aspect of body odour quality is preserved. Thus, our results support the idea of perfume-body odour interaction."

Oberzaucher and Grammer (see above) are attempting replication of our results. And it was Johan Lundstrom, who is from the group studying androstadienone, who suggested sandalwood odor be used in our odor mask control study.

I'm mentioning the other research and researchers as examples of how we can progress through co-operative and collaborative efforts that have until recently not been made. I think that now, the competitive approaches to finding statistically significant results of behavioral affects have all but disappeared. As is also the case on this Forum, we are seeing that more people recognize the influence of human pheromones can be great, but they also realize there are no magical effects. Overall, the combination of science and consumer's observations will continue to promote a reasonable approach to the beneficial uses of human pheromones, which are just now beginning to see extend to anti-aging medicine.

James V. Kohl
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