Marketing applications of GSR include product development, packaging development, copy testing, and testing of websites.

Typically, respondents at a controlled location, strapped with GSR sensors, are exposed to the stimulus that is to be tested. Key metrics such as the number of peaks, and the peak amplitude are recorded for each respondent, and averaged across the total sample as well as relevant demographics.

The GSR metrics quantify the emotional arousal of the individuals, sub-groups, as well as the total sample. Marketers can compare the arousal level for different prototypes, or they can compare the metrics against benchmarks to gauge the prototype’s performance.

Common analysis includes comparison of peaks per minute and highs and lows across respondents.

For instance, consider advertising. If the objective of an advertisement video is to penetrate consumers’ minds associating the brand with positive or negative emotional states, then GSR can help determine if this objective is likely to be met. More peaks per minute and peaks of higher amplitude would indicate that respondents are experiencing frequent emotional arousals of greater intensity.

Importantly, while GSR is indicative of emotional arousal, it is not an indicator of emotional valence (positive/negative). So, one should consider using it in combination with other devices such as facial coders that are able to capture the nature of respondent’s emotions.

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