Electrodermal activity

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Recording of electrodermal activity for 60 seconds

The electrodermal activity (EDA; outdated: (psycho) galvanic skin reaction ; English Galvanic skin response , GSR, Skin Conductance Response , SCR, or Electrodermal response , EDR) is a short-term decrease in the electrical conduction resistance of the skin, caused by the typical increase in sympathetic tone in emotional - affective reactions. This leads to an increased sweat secretion , corresponding to an increase in skin conductivity .

With the help of measurements of electrodermal activity, psychophysiological relationships can be objectified, since every physiological excitation , as it is associated with emotions or stress , changes the skin conductivity.

The unit of measurement for skin conductivity in the International System of Units is Siemens .

Application examples

People's self-reporting is notoriously false or skewed for several reasons . Often they are not aware of their attitudes , affects and emotions (for example, in the case of subliminal stimuli), or do not want to admit them (because they contradict their ideal self ), or want to present themselves in a good light (see social desirability ). Measuring skin conductivity is currently one of the most accurate methods for objectively measuring human reactions.

  • It can uncover deliberate falsifications of the truth and is part of the so-called lie detector and - apparently - the Bogus pipeline , a device that the test subjects believe can detect any untrue statement so that it would be pointless to lie.
  • Even unconscious falsifications become obvious, for example many people have prejudices without even knowing it.
  • The effect of pheromones can be shown with it.
  • In the rare Capgras syndrome , patients believe that people close to them have been replaced by doppelgangers. In contact with these people, as with strangers, there is no emotional reaction, which can be objectively determined by the fact that their electrodermal activity does not change.

Individual evidence

  1. Lexicon of Psychology: Electrodermal Activity
  2. ^ Alfred Groß: Electrodermal activity.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. University of Graz@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.uni-graz.at  

Web links