Emotional effects of car passenger activities on physiology and comfort : an empirical study

Kruithof, Aernout
There are lots of elements involved in the design of a car. This study, which is inspired by the brief of BMW group, explores the seating unit of cars with regard to prototypical activities, such as, listening to music, working, looking outside etc. The current study proposes that these external stimuli have an effect on comfort experience and felt emotions. So, this study explores the relationship between types of music and activities typically performed by car passengers and emotion and comfort perception, through performing a within subject design empirical study. A car seat provided by BMW group was used to test the above mentioned relationships. Data was collected through a self-report questionnaire, heart rate equipment, a pressure mat and analyzed separately for each condition. Results of the study show that there is a successful emotion induction by task and music individually, and partly on task*music interaction. A comparison of congruent and non-congruent situations, i.e. high arousal music and high arousal task or low arousal music and low arousal task, showed that differences occur in subjects’ reported level of arousal. Furthermore, the results of the study indicated that comfort is related to valance factors, independent of arousal levels. Lastly, physiological measurements showed that only task has a significant effect on heart rate, implicating for the complexity of linking physiological data to emotion and comfort.


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Citation Formats
A. Kruithof, “ Emotional effects of car passenger activities on physiology and comfort : an empirical study,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2012.