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The calming effect of a new wearable device during the anticipation of public speech

Azevedo, Ruben T., Bennett, Nell, Bilicki, Andreas, Hooper, Jack, Markopoulou, Fotini, Tsakiris, Manos (2017) The calming effect of a new wearable device during the anticipation of public speech. Scientific Reports, 7 . p. 2285. ISSN 2045-2322. (doi:10.1038/s41598-017-02274-2)

Abstract

We assessed the calming effect of doppel, a wearable device that delivers heartbeat-like tactile stimulation on the wrist. We tested whether the use of doppel would have a calming effect on physiological arousal and subjective reports of state anxiety during the anticipation of public speech, a validated experimental task that is known to induce anxiety. Two groups of participants were tested in a single-blind design. Both groups wore the device on their wrist during the anticipation of public speech, and were given the cover story that the device was measuring blood pressure. For only one group, the device was turned on and delivered a slow heartbeat-like vibration. Participants in the doppel active condition displayed lower increases in skin conductance responses relative to baseline and reported lower anxiety levels compared to the control group. Therefore, the presence, as opposed to its absence, of a slow rhythm, which in the present study was instantiated as an auxiliary slow heartbeat delivered through doppel, had a significant calming effect on physiological arousal and subjective experience during a socially stressful situation. This finding is discussed in relation to past research on responses and entrainment to rhythms, and their effects on arousal and mood.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1038/s41598-017-02274-2
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Ruben Azevedo
Date Deposited: 08 May 2019 17:14 UTC
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2019 09:47 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/73813 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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