Ethnic Differences in Consumer Preference for Scented Textile Products

ShuHwa Lin, Xing Sun


Determine the role of ethnicity in product evaluation of scented textiles by three ethnic female groups. Compare differences in product evaluation using the sense of smell only, appearance and touch only or a combination of smell, appearance and touch. Experimental design involving monitored product evaluations of both 12 scented and unscented textiles by females from three ethnic backgrounds. Evaluations took place under 3 conditions: smell, look/touch, and smell/look/touch. Purposive sample with quota selected sampling was used to recruit 120 female consumer subjects from a metropolitan area in Hawaii with a quota of 40 from each of three ethnic groups: Caucasian, Chinese, and Hawaiian. Ethnicity was determined by the subject’s response to an ethnicity question. Descriptive data analysis, one way ANOVA, and chi-squares were used to analyze differences in product evaluations based on ethnicity of the respondent and based on which sensory stimuli were present in the evaluation. Product evaluations varied among the ethnic groups and were affected by the types or combinations of sensory stimuli. Three main themes emerged: the influence of significant consumer decision of scented textiles' olfactory, visual and tactile, and all factors of smell, tactile, and visual.

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