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Measuring Workers' Emotional State during Construction Tasks Using Wearable EEG

Measuring Workers' Emotional State during Construction Tasks Using Wearable EEG
Hwang S.Jebelli H.Choi B.Choi M.Lee S.
Ewha Authors
Issue Date
Journal Title
Journal of Construction Engineering and Management
0733-9364JCR Link
Journal of Construction Engineering and Management vol. 144, no. 7
ArousalBrain wavesElectroencephalogramEmotionsNeurophysiologyValenceWearable devices
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Document Type
Construction workers' emotional states (e.g., pleasure, displeasure, excitement, and relaxation) are known as a critical factor that affect their performance (e.g., safety, health, and productivity). To prevent adverse impacts on work performance, measuring emotional states should take precedence to better understand how workers' emotions vary while they are working. Among many methods available to measure emotional states, electroencephalogram (EEG) has a great potential for quantitative measurement by overcoming a possible bias from the survey-based subjective assessment of emotions. Although EEG-based emotion measurement has been tested and applied only in a laboratory environment, recent advancements in wearable EEG sensors, which are portable, wireless, and affordable, open a new door toward nonintrusive field emotion measurement. This study thus investigates the feasibility of measuring workers' emotions in the field using a wearable EEG sensor. To do this, a bipolar dimensional emotion model, which consists of valence (from displeasure to pleasure) and arousal (from relaxation to excitement) dimensions, was applied to quantify workers' emotional states. Then, workers' valence and arousal levels were measured using a wearable EEG sensor during their ongoing tasks. The validity of the EEG-based emotion measurement was examined through a comparison with cortisol levels obtained from workers' saliva samples, which has been accepted as a reliable physical measure of emotions. The results demonstrate the applicability of a wearable EEG sensor for measuring workers' emotions, particularly valence levels, which remain crucial to understanding workers' emotional states. This study contributes to the body of knowledge on in-depth studies for understanding workers' emotions in the field by providing a means to continuously and nonintrusively measure workers' emotions while they are working. © 2018 American Society of Civil Engineers.
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