Thermal Imaging in Social Decision Making by Rima-Maria Rahal and Ilja van Beest

This collection gives an overview of literature on theories of physiological responses related to skin temperature, technical notes on thermal imaging measurements, and applications to the field of social decision making. 

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Thermal imaging yields measures of surface temperature, which are increasingly used in behavioral science to infer arousal and affective activation by measuring skin temperature responses to subcutaneous blood flow. Measures of interest refer to the variability in the activation over time, and between different regions of interest. Thermal imaging offers an unobtrusive way of measuring arousal and affective responses without interfering with the experimental setup, and a non-invasive measurement in which the participant remains undisturbed.

In this collection, we give an overview of the literature on thermal imaging in relation to social decision making research. Including both classical studies (e.g., Boudewyns, 1976) and recent developments (e.g., Jian, Chen, Huang, & Yau, 2019), this collection draws on theoretical basics of thermal responses, technical prerequisites for such measurements, and their application to psychological research, in particular to settings where humans interact with others. We continuously update this collection as the literature base grows.


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