Using skin conductance and facial electromyography to measure emotional responses to tourism advertising
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Although an objective and increasingly common technique in marketing, media and psychology, psychophysiological measures are rarely used in tourism research to detect tourism consumers’ spontaneous emotional responses. This study examines the use of psychophysiological measures in tourism and in particular explores the usefulness of skin conductance (SC) and facial electromyography (EMG) methods in tracking emotional responses to destination advertisements. Thirty-three participants were exposed to three destination advertisements while their self-report ratings, real-time SC and facial EMG data as well as post hoc interview data were obtained. The results demonstrate that, compared with self-report measures, psychophysiological measures are able to better distinguish between different destination advertisements, and between different dimensions of emotion. Participants’ affective experience reported in post hoc interviews was found to be consistent with emotional peaks identified from continuous facial EMG and SC monitoring. These results validate the ability of psychophysiological techniques to capture moment-to-moment emotional responses and it is concluded that psychophysiological methods are useful in measuring emotional responses to tourism advertising. Methodological insights regarding the constraints associated with the use and application of psychophysiological methods are discussed.
Current Issues in Tourism
© 2016 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Current Issues in Tourism on 17 Aug 2016, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13683500.2016.1223023