Poker face or open book – what does the facial expression say about how someone feels when they look at something? The second “Open Research Day” in the Brand Research Lab of the BU revolved around this question.

After Prof. Dr. Yonca Limon-Calisan and her student assistant Maria del Rocío Gil Rodriguez had given an introduction to the topic of eye tracking in the first session, they showed interested students and employees of the BU on November 30th, how Facial Expression Analysis works.

The measuring technique recognizes the expression on the basis of a multitude of fixed points in the human face. It measures a total of nine emotions, including joy, sadness, fear and disgust. The technology can also be combined with eye-tracking. This creates a link between attention and emotions.

For example, it is possible to examine which elements of an advertisement have a positive or negative effect on recipients or how satisfied a user is when he moves around a website. Reactions that are often so implicit that they could not be detected in a questioning.

The two study supervisors showed small groups in the Brand Research Lab how such a study is set up with the iMotions software. This first insight prepares students to conduct their own experiments based on Facial Expression Analysis in the future.

The session ended with a change of perspective: Every visitor of the Open Research Day became a test subject in a study that the Brand University is currently conducting as a contract research project.