Leading market researcher, GfK, is developing a procedure that records and analyzes human emotions via automated, software-based detection of facial expressions
Working in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS) and Professor Dr. Klaus R. Scherer, Professor of Psychology at the University of Geneva as well as Director of the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Affective Sciences, GfK-Nürnberg e.V. is developing a system that precisely records even the smallest muscle movements in people’s faces.
Since emotions are often expressed in facial expressions, emotions can be recorded spontaneously and in real time using this system.
People’s emotions have an influence on their cognitive processes and therefore on their purchase decisions, which means that measuring emotions has become an increasingly important issue within market research.
In the areas of communications research or new product development, a system that measures emotions accurately, and is workable in practice, can provide new and unique insights: what a person actually feels when watching an advertisement, how a specific communication affects the emotional image of a brand or which emotions a person experiences when testing a new product – these are only a few examples of how the new automated measuring of emotions could be applied.
GfK is currently deploying this new technology in a feasibility study, in order to investigate how the feelings “interest”, “enjoyment” and “disgust” can be read from facial expressions, by recording even very subtle muscle movements.
Once the feasibility study has been completed, GfK intend to develop the new system so that it recognizes all emotions that are relevant for market research.
A next developmental stage could be the combination of the automated, software-based detection of facial expressions with verbal measurement of emotions, such as vocal analysis.
About GfK Nürnberg e.V.
GfK-Nürnberg e.V. was established in 1934 to promote market research. Its membership consists of approximately 600 companies and individuals.
The purpose of GfK-Nürnberg e.V. is to carry out basic research, to promote the training and further education of market researchers and to regularly produce studies to be made available to the membership.
With a 58% stake, GfK-Nürnberg e.V. is the majority shareholder of GfK SE.
More information: www.gfk-verein.com
About the GfK Group
The GfK Group is the No. 4 market research organization worldwide.
Its activities cover the three business sectors of Custom Research, Retail and Media. In financial year 2008, the GfK Group achieved sales of EUR 1,220.4 million.
The Group has a total of 150 companies operating in more than 100 countries. Of the 10,267 employees (as at March 31, 2009), more than 80% are based outside Germany.
For further information, visit our website: www.gfk.com
About NCCR Affective Sciences
NCCR Affective Sciences is the first national research center worldwide to be devoted to the interdisciplinary study of emotions and their effects on human behavior and society.
It is financed by the Swiss government, managed by the Swiss National Science Foundation for the promotion of scientific research, and based at the University of Geneva.
For further information, please visit the following website: www.affective-sciences.org
About the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS)
Established in 1985 and based in Erlangen, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS) has a staff complement of 585 and is the largest Fraunhofer Institute in the Fraunhofer Society.
It became known globally following the development of the mp3 and MPEG AAC audio coding procedures.
In close cooperation with clients from industry, the scientists carry out research and development work in the following areas: digital radio, audio and multimedia technology, digital cinema technology, design automation, integrated circuits and sensor systems, wired, wireless and optical networks, localization and navigation, high-speed cameras, ultra-high resolution X-ray technology, image processing, medical technology and information and communication technology for the logistic services industry.
For further information, please see www.iis.fraunhofer.de .
Nuremberg - June 2009