The use of physiological measurements allows researchers with an interest in cognition to get objective data on how participants experience their interaction with technology. Some implementations allow it to synchronize with stimuli, which enables researchers to link changes in the data to events in the interaction between technology and humans. Physiological measurements are useful and come in many forms.
Physiological measurements are a very powerful tool for social scientists. They allow for both the replacement and supplementation of the more traditional questionnaires by more other measurements, for example of excitement, heart-rate, stress and emotional state. Within the BMS lab, the shimmer skin conductance sensors and E4 Empatica watches are often used for this purpose. The latter is also usable as a fitness and movement tracker. Physiological measurements can aid in explaining observations and the classical self-reported measurements by providing an objective measurement to which they can be compared and related. A video or application that is reported to cause stress can be further analyzed by identifying where a participant’s heart-rate rises or their skin conductance increases.