My Roles as a Research Participant
The research involved the determination of personal identity and character through the observation of various pictures in the course of psycho-physiological activities. As a research participant, I undertook some activities during this study. These included listening to loud startle tones, listening to sweet soothing music, watching very emotionally charged movies and pictures and being closed in a dark room with strange and scary voices. During and after the activities, several measures were taken to retrieve the data for the study. These included recording heartbeats, noting down skin resonance, and noting down the frequency of eye muscle movement.
The purpose of the study
The application of emotion and responses to attention has widely been used in psychophysiological studies. In this study, emotions and responses to stimuli were used to determine personal identity. The measuring of these indicators was done using modern techniques in psychophysiology. According to Breakwell (45),
Many measures are part of modern psychophysiology including measures of brain activity such as ERPs, brain waves (electroencephalography, EEG), fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), measures of skin conductance (skin conductance response, SCR; galvanic skin response, GSR), cardiovascular measures (heart rate, HR; beats per minute, BPM; heart rate variability, HRV; vasomotor activity), muscle activity (electromyography, EMG), changes in pupil diameter with thought and emotion (pupillometry) and eye movements, recorded via the electrooculogram (EOG) and direction-of-gaze methods
In addition to the above, the study was aimed at demonstrating the link between human emotions and general character. These two factors define personality and personal identity in an individual.
Significance of the research
The findings of the study are significant to different sectors including the medical research fields, police departments and the fields of psychology. These are detailed as hereunder.
The findings of this research are of significant value to the police department heads and the investigative arms of the state as they provide a baseline data based on which policy formulation and decision making as regards their investigative activities with criminals. This will mainly be in the areas of collecting data for prosecution. In cases where the real suspects are very hard to point out and arrest, very simple leads in human behavior that are related to handling of their emotions have proven to be very critical in arriving at the correct conclusion. In addition to this, it reinforces more research data on the personality of human beings and as such provides foundation for further research on the topic.
Our ability to understand our identity and behavior has been widely used in the medical field to act as preventive measures in handling medical complications directly related to the psychological aspects of human beings. Anxiety disorders, mood disorders and mental problems are best addressed when we have a strong background knowledge and psycho-physiological data on a patient. The relevance of this research was that it sought to provide more knowledge on the understanding of human levels of anxiety and their relation to personal identity. Dealing with an individual who has developed anxiety and mood disorders when this data is available becomes less complicated to medical practitioners.
In conclusion, I believe the research achieved its intended objectives. I would suggest that future studies replicate this study to ascertain whether the above findings are true by employing a bigger sample size and adopting different assessment criteria for men, women, marital status and age. The incorporation of such demographic variances would be of necessity to provide the much-needed data in analyzing the different cases.
Breakwell, Glynis M. Research methods in psychology. SAGE. 2006.