Adriana González Gil –
One of the neurophysiological measures that we use in our neuroscience laboratories is the Galvanic Skin Response, which lets us measure the changes in our skin when it momentarily becomes a better conductant of electricity as a consequence of either external or internal stimuli that are physiologically arousing.
In other words, our skin sweats when we get excited. This occurs all the time at imperceptible levels but you may be conscious of it when experiencing very intense emotions: Nervous people are usually depicted in media as sweating profusely and many of us may have experienced how the palms of our hands get sweaty when we hold the hand of our love interest for the first time, for example.
It is worth noting that both positive and negative emotions can result in an increase in arousal – and in an increase in skin conductance. The GSR signal is therefore not representative of the type of emotion, but the intensity of it. To determine the exact emotion felt when there is a peak of the GSR, we use EEG.
How is Skin Conductance measured?
Our devices capture skin conductance from the hands of the consumers, using easy-to-apply skin electrodes, that are usually placed on their fingertips but can also be applied to the palms of their hands to avoid interrupting experiences where full finger mobility is needed. These electrodes have an Ag/AgCl (silver-chloride) contact point with the skin and are cheap, robust, accurate and safe for human contact. The information is given to us in micro-siemens at a frequency of 0,2 seconds.
How is it useful for business?
Psychologists and economists generally agree about two fundamental human motives to any behavior: the desire to reduce uncertainty and the desire to obtain pleasure. Unfortunately, when we obtain happiness or joy, there are psychological mechanisms that get activated to reduce it. Our mind seeks to go back to a state of tranquility.
This phenomenon is the reason why great movies are not just a succession of very exciting scenes, but a composition between relaxing and arousing events. After a battle, we go to a conversation, and so on. Our brain cannot maintain a high level of emotion for a long time before neutralizing it and this applies to any experience.
By studying the Galvanic Skin Response we do not only aim to identify emotional triggers in your store, ad, website or app. We also aim to build experiences that, just like a movie, are a succession of high and low levels of positive emotions; a rollercoaster. This way our brain won’t take the good feeling as a constant and reduce it. Also, we aim to build experiences where the finishing level of emotion is higher than the initial.
On the following video you can observe a shopping experience where we measured, among other indicators, the Galvanic Skin Response evolution:
For more information about our technologies and how they can help your strategies, contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.