Don’t sweat it (or do)

A gym kit left at bottom of a bag.

The palms of your hands on a first date.

That token bag of salad with your Indian takeaway.

Sweat comes in many forms, and tends to be met with disgust. But sweat can actually be an incredibly useful thing. Sweat is triggered by emotional stimulation, so it’s often used in research to get under the skin of people’s subconscious responses.

Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) essentially measures people’s sweat levels on their skin and, in research, we can track participants’ GSR whilst exposing them to different stimulus. Any physiological arousal we pick up can be interpreted as them paying more attention, being more invested, and/or experiencing emotions such as surprise. 

We used this for our recent study with the Guardian, to help prove the effectiveness of podcast advertising. Hooking participants up to a simple finger sensor, and exposing them to several pieces of audio content, each containing advertising, we could see how their physiological responses changed as the advertising kicked in. We made some interesting discoveries, the details of which can be found here!

Big thanks to IVP Research Labs who we partnered with for this study.