Looks like we learn something new about our emotions everyday right?
If your day has not been going so well, the latest study shows that your emotions can be displayed vividly while you use your mouse. The study is quite interesting because changing the way we move our mouse is actually telling us that we are feeling emotionally different at that particular time. Every time you display a different form of emotion, you will be moving your cursor in different manner.
The study was published in Management Information Systems Quarterly, where researchers monitored people moving their cursors in order to determine if an individual was frustrated or was it something else entirely. To reach a conclusive analysis, the researchers had to create scenarios where the participants were actually getting frustrated and angry with the tests they hand to endure. One test involved the use of a webpage that was taking forever to load completely, while the other test involved the participants having to answer a question within a limited time window (although the question was far too complicated to be answered in that time span).
While initial test results were unsatisfactory, the researchers finally started to see some healthy progress when they found that instead of moving the cursor in a nice, smooth arc, individuals that were becoming frustrated, started moving the mouse more sporadically. The conclusion of the test has been summarized below:
“The behavior can be explained by the attentional control theory (ACT), which posits that people experiencing negative emotions shift from acting in a goal-driven manner to a stimulus-responsive manner. Basically, you go from focusing on what you want to the thing that’s upsetting you.”
So what exactly was the purpose of this test? The author of the study, Jeff Jenkins stated in a press release that websites will become smarter in the foreseeable future by understanding the individuals’ emotions based on their cursor movement. According to those emotions, such websites will be able to provide you with information compiled in such a manner that does not get you frustrated.
In an interesting turn of events, it looks like apart from seeing responsive websites, we will be seeing webpages that respond to the way we move our mouse cursors. This in indeed a very interesting study, and we are sure that developers of future websites will be passed along this information.