52 | www.CosmeticsandToiletries.com Vol. 130, No. 7 | September 2015
TESTING | C&T
ability in the quality of the technology. Psychological
methods, such as implicit association, priming
paradigms and state-and-trait batteries, can also be
used to assess consumer responses and emotion.
The combined effect of all these factors on
product choice is mediated by emotional responses.
Frijda4 distinguishes the following elements of
emotions: affect or the hedonic pleasure of products;
appraisal of products, in terms of good/bad or
pleasant/unpleasant; action-readiness, i.e., whether
or not the product is used/purchased; and autonomic
arousal, reflecting the degree of motor preparation
for the actions of using or purchasing a product.
Affect and appraisal typically are assessed
explicitly via questionnaires. Action-readiness and
autonomic arousal are often assessed implicitly, with
physiological measures of the autonomic nervous
system (ANS). 5
More recently, it has been suggested that various
aspects of stimuli are appraised sequentially, 6 whereby
each type of appraisal is associated with specific
physiological, expressive and motivational changes.
Aue and colleagues7 presented study participants with
pictures that displayed biological and cultural threats
or neutral stimuli, and demonstrated through EEG
and facial muscle activity that relevance appraisal
interestingly preceded goal-conduciveness appraisal.
Similarly, Delplanque and colleagues, 8 using facial
muscle and electrodermal activity with olfactory
stimuli, demonstrated that novelty reactions preceded
In the present studies, the authors used a combination of biometrics, including HR, GSR and fEMG;
eye tracking; and psychological assessment. ANS and
facial muscle responses to the stimuli were recorded.
Responses were monitored continuously during
stimulus exposures to allow for the testing of sequential appraisals.
Understanding the Consumer
Consumer compliance is a stumbling block for
the success of many cosmetic products. Therefore,
designing products to increase compliance by creating a positive emotional experience is key. In relation,
the authors have shown that priming paradigms are
valuable tools for assessing implicit self-evaluation
and offer an interesting approach to product design.
The present novel preliminary study tested
the hypothesis that an implicit positive or negative association with self mediates physiology and
behavior toward self imagery. Attitudinal, perceptual
and physiological components of self image were
assessed. This data provides a quantitative demonstration of how implicit cues, targeting a person’s
self-concept, influence the way they react physiologically and behaviorally.
Methods: Study 1
Participants: Seventeen adult female participants
between the ages of 18-35 were recruited for the study.
All participants signed an informed consent form and
received an incentive for their participation.
Questionnaire: Before and after testing, participants completed the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale9
(RSES) to assess the state of their self-esteem and
the effects of priming (described next). This scale is
perhaps the most widely used self-esteem measure in
social science research.
Priming: Participants were primed “positive” (n =
6) or “negative” (n = 5) using a facial feature description task in which they were instructed to choose
three positive or five negative facial features. As a control (n = 6), some subjects instead chose their three
most frequently used makeup products. Participants
then viewed an image of their own face for 15 seconds
while being measured physiologically.
Psycho-physiological measures: The effects of
priming, i.e., positive, negative or control, were studied by electrophysiological changes and eye tracking
behavior. Electrophysiological assessment included:
fEMG for emotional valence, HRV for attention and
GSR conductance for arousal. 10
The physiological data was collecteda using a wireless transmitter and receiversb. The filter settings were:
low-pass 10 Hz and high-pass 500 Hz for EMG; low-pass 3 Hz and high-pass DC for GSR; and low-pass 35
Hz and high-pass 1 Hz for electrocardiogram (ECG).
The signals were recorded by softwarec at 1000 Hz.
Heart rate was calculated by distance between
positive R peaks from the ECG waveform, expressed
in beats per minute (BPM). GSR was measured with
a constant voltage of 0.5 V along with an isotonic gel
and disposable snap electrodes ( 16 mm gel cavity).
For the fEMG, 4-mm snap electrodes were used with
electrolyte geld. Eye tracking data was collectede at
60 Hz and recorded by softwaref. Each respondent was
approximately 70 cm from the monitor.
Procedure: The experimental sessions took place
in a centrally located testing facility. The experiment leader explained the process to the participant,
allowed time for questions, and asked the participant
to sign the informed consent form. A photo of the
participant was then taken (see Figure 1a), after
which electrodes were applied (see Figure 2). Oral
instructions were given by the experiment leader and
a MP150 data acquisition system, b BioNomadix transmitter and receivers,
and c AcqKnowledge software, Biopac
d Signa Gel, Parker Labs, Inc.
e X- 60 eye tracker and f Tobii Studio software, Tobii