Measuring emotions through vital signs

Hello everybody!

Just an interesting aspect to discuss:

I am currently thinking about a possibility to track emotions by measuring vital signs…actually what comes to mind and has been done recently is tracking skin conductance and heart-rate variability. These indicators are known to measure arousal.

But is it possible to not only measure the mere existence of arousal but also the direction? How could you decide whether the reaction is caused by stress or euphoria?

In my opinion this is hardly achievable…What do you think about that?

Greetings Chrsitian

I don’t think it’s possible, either. But what we do know is that a constant, elevated level of arousal is a sign of chronic stress.

Hello ejain, thank you for your reply!

The question here is, what does “constant” mean? Is it 10 minutes, 1 hour or a day? Or do you mean the aggregated arousal levels over a certain period of time?

Is there any app or device, capable of measuring this?

Chronic stress is on the scale of days or weeks or even months. I don’t know if there is a precise, agreed-upon definition like “cortisol at >120% of normal for at least 14 days”.

It might be possible to use facial expressions (are you smiling at the time?). However I don’t know a good wearable way to track them: computer vision could be used, but you need a camera in front of you, or activation of the appropriate muscles could be used, but that requires electrodes on one’s face.

Here is a talk from the 2012 QS Global conference about tracking smiling: