Chapter

Skin: Electrodermal Activity

Robert M. Stern, William J. Ray and Karen S. Quigley

in Psychophysiological Recording

Second edition

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780195113594
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199846962 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195113594.003.0013
Skin: Electrodermal Activity

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Electrodermal activity (EDA) has been recorded in thousands of psychophysiological studies. Many who record EDA today share the basic belief expressed by Carl Jung in 1907 and also by present-day lie detector operators that verbal responses do not tell all, but that EDA does reveal the secrets of “mental life”. Today, EDA is used as a measure of the state of the organism's interaction with its environment, a reflection of emotional responding that is also elicited by cognitive activity. If we think of the skin as a giant receptor separating humans from the rest of the world, is it any wonder that responses obtained from it would be of interest to psychologists? This chapter discusses the four common descriptions of EDA: skin conductance level, skin conductance response, skin potential level, and skin potential response (SPR). The physiological basis of EDA and its psychophysiological recording are explored.

Keywords: electrodermal activity; skin; psychophysiological recording; skin conductance level; skin conductance response; skin potential level; skin potential response

Chapter.  4584 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psychology

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