Automotive Emotions: The Effect of Gender

Marlene Weber

Joseph Glacomin

The emotional responses to interactions with automobiles can provide insights into what works well and what works less well for people. The measurement of human emotions has thus become increasingly popular in recent times. A question which can however arise is whether statistically significant differences can occur due mainly to gender. The present investigation analysed that possibility with 22 participants who drove a Land Rover Discovery Sport over a route tailored to the stimulation of human emotions. Quantitative and qualitative research methods were combined by performing real-time Facial Expression Analysis via an Affdex Affectiva software tool running on an iMotions platform, and observational analysis by a researcher who noted the likely causes of the stimulated emotions. The research hypothesis was that females would exhibit higher frequencies of emotional expression than males on average. The results from the more than 880 minutes of driving confirmed the research hypothesis. The emotions found to be most frequently expressed by the female participants were anger, surprise and disgust, while for the male participants they were joy, surprise and disgust. The likely stimulating causes which were most frequent with the female participants were dense traffic, navigator alerts and road conditions while those with the male participants were enjoying the car, dense traffic and social interactions.

This publication uses Facial Expression Analysis which is fully integrated into iMotions Lab

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