Towards Biometric Assessment of Audience Affect

Abstract: This paper investigates how reliable affective responses can be obtained using objective biometric measures for media audience research. We use Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) to detect sixteen respondents’ arousal levels and as an objective measure to show how self-reporting disrupts the experience of respondents watching video content. The subjective experiences from nine subjects were captured by self-reporting via the widely used SAM pictogram scale every three minutes. We found that interruptions induced by the self-reporting events cause them to consistently exhibit arousal peaks. Our post test measures show a negative effect on the subjects’ overall experience of the video and their empathy and identification with the main characters compared to the remaining subjects. We observed a 30 second return period from abnormal arousal levels after the self-reporting interruptions.


  • Audience research
  • Galvanic skin response
  • Biometrics
  • Self-reporting
  • SAM
  • Affect response
  • Emotions

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