Portability and accessibility for research methods

BusinessCustomer case

The Applied Psychology Department at Force Technology complements traditional survey results with mobile and moment-to-moment data from biosensors to provide objective findings for their clients.

 

Agile Methods for Human Factors Research

Force Technology can conduct research in natural environments and easily communicate results to clients with iMotions

 
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Challenges

Force Technology is an international technological consultancy company, that operates in a wide variety of fields, for the energy, oil and gas sector, the maritime sector, manufacturing, the service sector and infrastructure.

They also operate an Applied Psychology Department that provides consultancy and services for clients with a variety of needs, from in-store layouts, or driver awareness, to safety design, or maritime operations. This could take form in examining how customers navigate their way through a store, investigating how ship captains utilise the controls that are at hand, or observing truck driver attention.

In each of these examples the Applied Psychology team wanted to use tools that complemented and added to traditional methods that would usually be used in such studies. Such detailed and moment-to-moment data can’t be provided by traditional methods or potentially biased observation, so the team sought out biometric tools to aid them in their work.

 
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Benefits

With the help of biometric tools the Applied Psychology Department is able to provide not only their knowledge as psychologists, and the results of traditional surveys, but also objective findings to their clients.

The tools are portable and adaptable, meaning that they are well-suited to experiments in the field. This has been shown with studies of truck drivers that can be equipped with eye tracking glasses, showing where their attention is placed at crucial moments. Such specific and granular data allows concrete judgements to be made about the driver’s actions.

The resulting data can also be shown visually (for example, with the help of heat maps for eye tracking data), which can be a compelling and accessible method by which to communicate the findings to clients.

 
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Solution

The Applied Psychology Department now uses an array of synchronized biometric tools to provide answers to their varied clients. The wide-ranging environments can be readily investigated as many of the biometric sensors are fully portable and wireless, and the output can be produced directly in iMotions.

The team uses a range of sensors, including eye tracking (both desktop-based and glasses), GSR, EEG, and facial expression analysis (through webcam recordings). Each of these provides a different dimension to their findings, and allows – with the help of traditional methods – to get a better understanding of the participants’ thoughts and feelings behind their behavior.

It’s not that you’re not going to use the traditional methods, but as an add-on, you can get more insight into how they actually feel, how they actually respond to different things, and not just what they say.

Dr. Jesper Ejdorf Brøsted
Dr. Jesper Ejdorf Brøsted
Psychologist, MA, Ph.D - Force Technology

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