According to Jeffrey Jenkins, professor at the Brigham Young University, your mouse will soon reveal your feelings, sending the information to the online environment.
By detecting the way you move your mouse, the websites you visit could tell if you are frustrated or angry so they could act in response.
According to the researcher, calm computer users move their mouse in straight or slightly curved paths. For angry users, the moves become abrupt and sharp.
Jenkins says it is the opposite of what most of the people would expect thinking that when they are angry or frustrated, they start moving faster and clicking more often.
Jenkins and his team from the Brigham Young University tested the behaviour of angry computer users in three different experiments designed to annoy the participants. Researchers created a test that would make them all fail.
Participants had to answer some questions in a very short amount of time. The designers made the webpage load very slow, so it wouldn’t give the subjects enough time to answer the question. More than that, they were penalized for every wrong answer.
To make sure the subjects will be angry and frustrated researchers told them that the score obtained in the test indicated their level of intelligence.
The experiments concluded that, against what common sense might have told us about this issue, frustrated users actually move their mouse slower, while their moves are sharper.
Researchers believe their study will have the greatest application on monitoring users reactions on websites, which would help making the websites more responsive, to improve the online experience. For example, when a website feels a frustrated user, it might adjust or might offer help for a better navigation.
Jenkins plans to make a similar tracking technology for smartphones and tablets, capturing data from taps and swipes. He argues that using this technology websites won’t be ‘dumb’ anymore.
Previous studies using technology to detect the users’ mental state have been able to detect if a person is depressed by the way they were using their smartphones.
According to the study, depressed people use their cell phones almost five times more than non-depressed persons. To determine if a person was depressed, researchers have also used data from the GPS, tracking the locations in which the persons were spending most of their time.
Study’s findings revealed that depressed people spent most of their time in a couple of locations, like at home or at work.
Mixing data from telephone use and GPS, authors of the study have been able to identify depressed individuals with an accuracy of 87 percent.
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