next up previous
Next: The Sentic Mouse Experiment Up: Background Previous: The Physiological Response of

The Sentic Experiment

The sentics research published in Dr. Clynes' book Sentics [Clynes, 1986] has revealed, among other things, a correlation between emotional valence and the dynamic finger pressure of a subject pushing a button. His research has focused on identifying emotions based on the characteristic signal pattern of finger pressure. To this end, Dr. Clynes has traveled the globe testing subjects on his sentograph and found that there are distinct patterns that arise for similar emotions across all subjects. The specific emotions Dr. Clynes had his subjects elicit and their characteristic signals correlated strongly, see figure 2-4.

His experiments had right-handed subjects sit in a prescribed manner (to eliminate non-essential movement) with their finger on the sentograph. At the tone the subject, imagining, fantasizing, or remembering themselves in a pre-specified state, tried to express the emotion by pushing on the sentograph button. The specific emotions Dr. Clynes studied included - Anger, Hate, Grief, Love, Sex, Joy, and Reverence.gif Although he found that many cultures did not have the words for all these emotions, the specific emotions he wanted to elicit were very familiar to the subjects.

[Figure 2-4: The top line reflects vertical pressure and the bottom trace is horizontal deflection.]

Dr. Clynes' experiments support the hypothesis that it is an innate unconscious human tendency to pull positive stimuli towards the self, and to push negative stimuli away. He found that emotions like love and joy were accompanied by less dramatic horizontal deflection than anger and hate. By measuring the pressure of the finger in the horizontal plane, towards verses away from the subject, valence information can be extracted.

Dana L Kirsch
Mon May 24 16:34:14 EDT 1999