Biometric Measures: Into the Lab

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Paul Bolls
Paul Bolls



Biometric testing, neuroscience and brain mapping studies have recently interested many brands and advertisers looking to understand what subconscious emotions and reactions to their million-dollar advertising means, along with how the data from these studies can be used to make their media messages more effective. While many focus groups, surveys and traditional testing models provide important feedback from viewers, biometric testing allows the brand or advertiser to ascertain the person’s biological reactions to imagery.

Biometric testing includes collecting data, such as heart rate, facial muscle movement, spikes in brainwave activity and the stimulation of the nervous system through the production of sweat. These reactions are usually involuntary and can showcase underlying reactions experienced by the person when viewing or interacting with brand messages.

While biometric testing can provide invaluable data and information for those wanting to connect with consumers on both a conscious and subconscious level, research projects need to include results from various types of studies in order to provide a more in-depth understanding of why a person reacted in a certain way and what exactly the reaction correlates to. By combining eye-tracking, electroencephalography (EEG) studies and more traditional research methodologies, final data sets and recommendations can be made to help to prevent the study of the subconscious from being misunderstood.

If you’re looking to utilize biometric measures in your research studies:

  • Thoroughly research the biometric testing lab you are partnering with. They should be able to provide details on the credibility of the results and how the tests will be conducted.
  • Understand that biometric measures, even with survey results, provide one view on the effectiveness of brand messages. Additional research should be used to validate and further understand the results.

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