A study conducted by Dr. Joseph Delvin, who is the Head of Experimental Psychology at UCL in London, along with Audible.co.uk revealed that people have stronger emotional and physiological responses when listening to audio books opposed to visual storytelling mediums.

In a video posted by Audible.co.uk, Dr. Delvin explains that the focus of the study was to look into the emotional engagement that people have when listening to a story as opposed to when they watch a movie, a TV series or video. They wanted to know which is more emotionally engaging - audiobooks or film?

So how did they measure emotional engagement? Dr. Delvin explains that they measured emotional engagement by measuring one's galvanic skin responses. According to Brain Signs, "galvanic skin response (GSR, is the measure of the continuous variations in the electrical characteristics of the skin, i.e. for instance the conductance, caused by the variation of the human body sweating."

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Dr. Delvin and his team measured GSR by using sensors. They measured the changes in electrodermal activity, the change in heart rate and body temperature.  

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Testing between 100 - 150 participants, aged between 18 - 55, they chose movies and TV shows with variying genres they thought would translate well with regards to the test. They chose:

  • Crime fiction - Silence of the Lambs
  • Classics - Pride and Prejudice 
  • Action - The Da Vinci Code
  • Science Fiction - Game of Thrones

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They did not make people watch an entire episode or movie but rather chose a scene they thought would yield results better, for example they chose the scene Ned Stark was beheaded in the early episodes of Game of Thrones. 

We created an infographic of the results from the study: 

Created via Canva.com

Watch a visual representation of the findings:

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