BIOPANEL FAQ

Below are a number of questions and answers about the BioPanel that you may find useful. If these do not answer your queries, you can always send your query as an email to biopanelquery@tvpanel.org or call us on 9360 7373.



Will the electrodes zap me?

No. We are only interested in measuring your responses to the television content, so the electrodes are used to read from you, not zap you.

Will it hurt?

No, the measures we take don’t involve any pain. However, if at any stage you feel uncomfortable during your session please tell the research assistant. We do use an electrode that sticks to your fingers with micropore tape, which is similar to the tape used in the hospital, so if you have an allergy to this type of tape, please let the research assistant know.

What do you do with the medical information that you collect on me in the BioPanel screening survey?

The information we collect in the screening survey is only viewed by the researchers on the project and is only used to determine whether you would be suitable to have the physiological measures collected from you. While we keep the original information on file, it is only associated with your membership number and not with your name or other identifying details. Your information is summarised as a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ and then kept on file with your name and contact details so we know whether or not we can invite you in for studies that require BioPanel participants.

What if my health changes or I start on a new medication?

If your health changes or you start new medication just let us know next time we give you an invitation call. Alternatively, you may also email our psychophysiology researcher on biopanelquery@tvpanel.org.

What type of medical conditions may be problematic?

There are many conditions that may affect how your body responds to psychological stimuli, including when you watch television. Additionally, there are many conditions that can affect the heart rate and sweating data that we collect from you. It is best to list all of your medical conditions in the screening survey or tell a research assistant. If you are at all unsure, please email our psychophysiology researcher with your query on biopanelquery@tvpanel.org.

Why do you need to know about my menstrual cycle?

It does sound like a strange request, but physiological research has found that depending upon the point in time of a woman’s menstrual cycle, there can be changes in heart rate and psychological arousal which can impact on your sweating response. We don’t exclude people from the BioPanel because of their menstrual cycle, we control for it in our data analysis.

Why do you need to know about my general health on the day of the session?

We ask you if you feel well on the day of the session just to ensure you are well enough to continue with the physiological data collection. If you have a temporary condition, such as a cold, virus or flu, this may affect your viewing experience in that you would rather be at home in bed. Additionally, symptoms associated with temporary conditions could require you to move excessively (such as sneezing) or require the bathroom in a short period of time.

How long will these extra measures take in my session?

Different studies require different measures. However, typically, a single measure can add about 6 minutes on to your session time for a study. This is because we need to set you up with the equipment and sometimes collect data while you are resting (about 5 minutes worth) that we can compare all your other data to. The pulse and skin conductance measures can be set up simultaneously, whereas when we need to track your eyes on screen, this set up alone can take up to 15 minutes. But generally, as a BioPanel member you may be with us for an extra 10-20minutes. As each study’s requirements differ, you will be informed about the extra measures and time involved when we call to invite you in.

Do I get compensated for the extra measures?

Yes. We are aware of how valuable your time is and recognise this by providing you with extra compensation (extra gift card value) for the physiological measures you complete with us. This value varies depending upon the time taken. For example, for measuring your pulse and skin conductance we typically compensate you with an extra $5 gift card as it takes about 10-15minutes to set up with you. However, each study does differ and you will be informed about the extra measures and compensation involved when we call to invite you in.

What will happen to the data you collect from me?

The physiological data we collect from you is identified by your membership number only. It is analysed by our psychophysiology researcher and her trained research assistants either on an individual basis (to identify changes during your session) or along with other participant’s data in the study (to identify general differences in the experience). All study findings are reported in averaged values (i.e. for all participants) and not on an individual level. As with all our data it is kept on a secure server only accessible by the research team.

Will these measures pick up any health issues I may have?

No, we will not be able to tell whether you have a medical condition from the data we collect from you, nor do we look for that information. If you have concerns about your health we advise that you consult with your GP for the appropriate tests and diagnosis.

Will I be able to get a copy of my physiological data?

The data collected is a set of numbers that are recorded every 5 milliseconds. Without the appropriate software and background these numbers would not mean anything. We will not be able to give you your individual physiological data from a session but if you are interested in the results of the study, you can indicate this on the consent form for that study.