Influence of Age and Gender on Emotional Skin Response

Authors

1 آزمایشگاه علوم اعصاب محاسباتی، دانشکده مهندسی برق، دانشگاه صنعتی سهند، تبریز، ایران

2 دانشگاه صنعتی سهند، تبریز، ایران

Abstract

The goal of the current study was to examine gender-and-age related differences in physiological responses to different emotions. Applying a random sampling method, 47 college students (31 females and 16 males in the age ranges of 19–22 and 22–25 years) were chosen to participate in the study. Pictorial stimuli were selected from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) and categorized into four emotional classes, including fear, relaxation, happiness, and sadness, based on their valence and arousal scores. Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) was recorded using a 16-channel Power Lab (manufactured by AD Instruments) when subjects were watching the affective pictures. Afterwards, morphological analysis of GSR was implemented and the Wilcoxon test was performed to show significant differences between the groups. Evaluation of differences between each affective state and rest period showed that all morphological features of GSR were valid pointers of affective states for both genders and age ranges, except for the amplitude. The gender-wise differences between each pair of emotional states indicate that fear is a unique emotional state that can be distinctly specific for women and for subjects within the age range of 19 to 22. In addition, it was found that younger women could easily recognize fear from other affective states, while older men can only distinguish between fear and happiness. It can be concluded that males and females not only differ in terms of affective physiological responses; their reactions also differ depending on their age.

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