If a person eats garlic, does that change the person’s armpit odor? Jean Berko Gleason, a researcher who is disgusted by both garlic and armpit odor, helps us appreciate research on that very question, in this week’s Improbable Research podcast.
This week, Marc Abrahams discusses a published garlic/armpit study, with dramatic readings from Boston University psychology professor emerita Jean Berko Gleason. Early in her career, Gleason gained fame for inventing the WUG Test. The WUG test revealed that young children have impressively subtle abilities to learn — and use — new bits of language.
For more info about what we discuss this week, go explore:
- “Consumption of Garlic Positively Affects Hedonic Perception of Axillary Body Odour,” Jitka Fialová, S. Craig Roberts, and Jan Havlíček, Appetite, vol. 97, 2016, pp. 8-15. Fialová and Havlíček are at Charles University, in the Czech Republic. Roberts is at the University of Sterling, in Scotland.
- Jan Havlíček is a 2014 Ig Nobel Prize winner, for research (unrelated to this) involving cats and mental health.
- Armpit odor.
The mysterious John Schedler or the shadowy Bruce Petschek perhaps did the sound engineering this week.
The Improbable Research podcast is all about research that makes people LAUGH, then THINK — real research, about anything and everything, from everywhere —research that may be good or bad, important or trivial, valuable or worthless. CBS distributes it, on the CBS Play.it web site, and on iTunes and Spotify).
BONUS: A nice appreciation of Jean and her words, in the Huffington Post: “These Are The Words Even A Linguist Hates — This goes way beyond ‘moist.’ “