psychogalvanometer


Also found in: Medical.

psychogalvanometer

[¦sī·kō‚gal·və′näm·əd·ər]
(engineering)
An instrument for testing mental reaction by determining how skin resistance changes when a voltage is applied to electrodes in contact with the skin.
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As each subject was exposed to the appeals, the measurement instrument (i.e., the psychogalvanometer) recorded the responses on a second-by-second basis, making it possible to determine the impact of ideas and phrases within each statement as well as the overall impact of each appeal.(13)
For example, in 1948 the corporate research director of Ford set up a psychogalvanometer testing facility to evaluate advertising and car design in the Rotunda.
Christian Ruckmick, who contributed one important monograph to the Payne Fund Motion Picture Studies, praised the emotion-reading power of the psychogalvanometer, which was essentially a lie detector that measured a variety of physiological changes and then recorded them on film.