If you know you have a poor sense of smell, you'd better stop reverse-bragging that little weakness into conversation to make yourself seem "accessible" to fans; researchers in Australia are claiming a poor sense of smell could be linked to psychopathy. (Also, stop acting like you have "fans," you fucking psychopath.)
The process of smelling involves the part of the brain called the orbitofrontal cortex, an area also believed to function "less effectively" in individuals who score high in tests measuring psychopathy. Now a study from Macquarie University in Sydney has tested (according to the scientists involved: has proven) a theory that psychopathic personality disorder can be linked to impaired "olfactory processing" (in layman's terms: smelling ability).
For the experiment, researchers administered a self-report psychopathy diagnostic (a version of which you can take online here –- cool first date activity) to seventy nine participants, aged 19 to 21, who had previously been diagnosed as "non-criminal psychopaths." They then measured the young psychopaths' smelling ability using sixteen different "Sniffin' Sticks"—pen-like instruments that dispense familiar scents (orange, leather, etc.).
The researchers said they are hopeful this information will prove useful for identifying psychopaths who might otherwise manipulate standard questionnaires and interviewers, so that you don't realize anything's amiss until they kill a rabbit on the patio at your cocktail party just for the fun of it:
Olfactory measures represent a potentially interesting marker for psychopathic traits, because performance expectancies are unclear in odour tests and may therefore be less susceptible to attempts to fake "good" or "bad" responses."
The findings were published in the journal Chemosensory Perception.