Physiological arousal via electrodermal activity

Method suitability

Study type

Field studies
XLab studies
Online studies
Questionnaire

Development phase

XConcepts
XEarly prototypes
XFunctional prototypes
XProducts on market

Studied period of experience

Before usage
XSnapshots
XAn episode
Long-term UX

Evaluator / Info provider

UX experts
XOne user at a time
Groups of users
Pairs of users

Data

Qualitative
XQuantitative

Applications

XWeb services
XPC software
Mobile software
XHardware designs
Other:

Requirements

XTrained researcher
Special equipment

Summary

The method utilises physiological arousal as an indicator for involvement and emotional state (arousal not valence). It is meant to also capture unconscious processes. Unobtrusive, not distracting, continuous measure, in situ

Description

participants will be 'prepared' before the session: attachment of sensors that detect the 'sweating' of the palm of the hand; … in the data you can see peaks of changes of EDA that might be good indicators that something had an effect on the participant

Strengths

objective; measure of intensity; unobtrusive; continuous measure; applicable in all phases

Weaknesses

does not measure valence of emotional state; limitation regarding free movements; should only be used in combination with other measurements (like facial expression, questionnaires such as SAM) physiological reaction dependant of many other things as well

References describing the method

Andreassi, J.L. (2006). Psychophysiology: Human Behavior and Physiological Response, 4th Edition. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahweh, NJ.

Ward, R. & Marsden, P.H. (2003). Physiological responses to different WEB page designs. International Journal of Human-Computer-Studies, 59, 199-212.

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