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Emotion Tracking: Ilona Pezenka on Ö1 in the program matrix

June 4, 2020

Senior Researcher Ilona Pezenka was a guest in the Ö1 program matrix on May 29, 2020 talking about the topic of emotion tracking. She gave insights into emotion measurement using the Web Analytics Lab and explained the benefits for Marketing & Sales with respect to advertising effectiveness measurement and sales coaching.

Ilona Pezenka is a senior researcher at FHWien der WKW for the Marketing & Sales Management study programs. For about three years she has been working on emotion measurement using the Web Analytics Lab. She uses face recognition and biometric methods to measure facial expressions, pulse and skin resistance, which are then combined into emotions by a computer program.


Face Recognition: From facial expressions to emotions

In the Ö1 program matrix on the subject of “Emotion Tracking”, Pezenka gave insights into emotion measurement on Friday, May 29, 2020. There, she explained how seven basic emotions (joy, anger, surprise, fear, contempt, sadness and disgust) can be identified from facial expressions using software. In addition, the technology also records the intensity of the individual emotion and the relationship of several emotions to each other.


Use of emotion measurement in marketing & sales

In addition to her extensive research activities, Ilona Pezenka supports Marketing & Sales students in building up sales excellence through biometric sales coaching and supervises student projects that deal with advertising impact. In matrix, she talked about a current project that examines the effect of advertisements by NGOs on climate protection. Using emotion measurement, different pleas (fear versus positive) are compared with each other.


Algorithms capture emotions: vision or reality?

Ilona Pezenka is accustomed to a certain skepticism towards the topic. We therefore asked her whether algorithms are really already capable of reading emotions from facial expressions as well as trained human coders are able to do. The researcher has answered us with a resounding yes, based on studies that confirm an agreement of over 97 % in some cases. Convinced proponents of this technology rely on the findings of Paul Ekman and his colleagues, who have been showing since the early 1970s that facial expressions reflect human emotions and feelings very well. Of course, the context plays an important role in the recognition of emotions and this must be taken into account accordingly when interpreting results.


>> The Ö1 interview can be listened to here:


You can find more information about the Marketing & Sales Management study programs here