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A tiny smile makes all the difference: Measuring emotions using the Web Analytics Lab

October 12, 2020

By using the latest technology the Communication Management and Marketing & Sales Management study programs at FHWien der WKW offer their students a unique opportunity to measure emotions in advertising and sales.

Emotion measurement at FHWien der WKW
Emotion measurement
Eye tracking at FHWien der WKW
Eye tracking
Measuring galvanic skin response at FHWien der WKW
Measuring galvanic skin response
Sales Coaching at FHWien der WKW
Sales Coaching

Can you still remember older automotive commercials? Informative but rather neutral. But how does advertising work today? Even the most sober business truck is sold to you as an emotional object of desire! Students of FHWien der WKW can find out for themselves what exactly goes on inside our heads using the Web Analytics Lab. By recording and evaluating pulse rate, skin resistance and facial expressions, state-of-the-art technology reveals exactly which emotions arise.

7 basic emotions 15 facial expressions 33 facial features

FHWien der WKW’s Web Analytics Lab uses computer software to record facial expressions via Face Recognition, register where the wearer is looking using Eye Tracking and measure pulse and skin resistance via Galvanic Skin Response. Even the tiniest smile is recognized by the webcam. The algorithm decodes 15 facial expressions and 33 facial features and assigns them to seven basic emotions, namely joy, anger, surprise, fear, contempt, sadness and disgust. Adding data on emotional valence and arousal measured by skin resistance and pulse, the result is a comprehensive picture of the emotional state of the test subjects. The Web Analytics Lab is used in research as well as in lectures and business field projects.

Research: Decoding emotions in sales conversations

Ilona Pezenka is Senior Researcher in the Marketing & Sales Management study programs at FHWien der WKW. Together with David Bourdin, Teaching & Research Associate at the Competence Center for Marketing, she focuses on research on consumer behavior respectively on the effect of emotions in sales conversations using automated facial recognition technology from the Web Analytics Lab. This enables the identification of specific behavioral patterns that lead to a positive conclusion of sales conversations.

Lecture & practice: Advertising effectiveness measurement & sales coaching

FHWien der WKW offers its students, but also cooperation partners, e.g. within the framework of business field projects, numerous possibilities and a range of ways to use the Web Analytics Lab. The wide range covers attention, acceptance and preference studies with focus on advertising impact (text, images, logo, social media, website, commercials etc.) as well as sales coaching. Thus, students of the Bachelor’s program in Marketing & Sales have the opportunity to simulate sales conversations in the lecture “Sales Management” and to gain deeper insights into the course of the conversation and the emotions associated with it by collecting biometric data. The Web Analytics Lab at FHWien der WKW provides the technical prerequisites for this.

Curious? Ilona Pezenka and David Bourdin were interviewed by FHWien der WKW’s training channel Radio NJOY 91.3 about the diverse applications of the Web Analytics Lab.

>> Listen to the interview about the Web Analytics Lab here (in German):


>> Find out more about the Communication Management study programs here

>> Find out more about the Marketing & Sales Management study programs here