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01.04.2015 | original article | Ausgabe 7-8/2015

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift 7-8/2015

Higher level of neuroticism in patients with problems with the sense of smell

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift > Ausgabe 7-8/2015
PhD Priv. Doz. Mag. Dr. Johann Lehrner, MD Johannes Kirchebner, MD Eduard Auff, PhD Gisela Pusswald



Recent research suggests an association between personality measures and olfactory performance. The question of whether one’s personality changes has been the subject of debate in personality research. The goal of the present study was to investigate whether olfactory dysfunction would be associated with personality traits.

Study design

A cross-sectional study was conducted by comparing a healthy control group and patients with olfactory dysfunction in terms of personality traits using the Big Five Plus One personality inventory.


A total of 17 normal controls with intact olfaction and 16 patients with olfactory dysfunction were included. All subjects included in the study were evaluated for olfactory dysfunction by means of the Sniffin’ Sticks


For the personality traits agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, openness to new ideas and the additional dimension empathy no statistically significant difference was found, whereas a statistically significant difference (p = 0.03) between the control group and the patient group regarding neuroticism (emotional control) was detected.


In conclusion, higher level of neuroticism is associated with patients with olfactory dysfunction.

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