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Love Potion #10


Susan Holt
Life Sciences Learning Center
University of Rochester


In this case study, students are asked to consider whether there is evidence to adequately support a series of scientific claims made in an advertisement for pheromones. The case teaches students about the scientific method and the process of science. Designed for use in advanced, average, and below average high school (grades 9-12) biology classes, it could also be used in AP Biology or in an introductory college biology course.


  • Understand that biological processes are thought to play a role in human behaviors.
  • Apply skepticism in evaluating whether scientific evidence supports claims.
  • Design an experiment to fairly test an advertising claim.


Pheromones; sexual attractants; experimental design; scientific literacy; advertising

Topical Areas

Pseudoscience, Science and the media, Scientific argumentation, Scientiific method

Educational Level

High school, Undergraduate lower division



Type / Methods




Subject Headings

Biology (General)  |  

Date Posted


Teaching Notes

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