Anxiety can influence how someone performs rather than just occur as an emotion that is felt a result of how well or not an individual is performing.
(Tichon et al. 2014: 204)
Cognition, Technology and Work
There is no 'gold standard' measure of emotional responding. Rather, experiential, physiological, and behavioural measures are all relevant to understanding emotion.
(Mauss and Robinson 2009: 209)
Cognition and Emotion
What is the rationale for the SSAA?
Trait anxiety is a relatively stable feature of an individual’s personality profile and reflects a predisposition to psychopathological conditions and heightened states of arousal whereas state anxiety or experimentally-induced anxiety is a more temporal experience often occurring in the absence of underlying psychopathological conditions. State specific anxiety is therefore dependent on isolated environmental triggers meaning that researchers are able to exert a degree of control over the onset of autonomic nervous system arousal through situational manipulation. State specific anxiety episodes are dynamic and momentary fluctuations in arousal can be expected even within the broader context of exposure to a specific stimulus. Given that state specific anxiety corresponds to a specific environmental stimulus, it is incumbent upon researchers to establish clear data collection/analysis parameters to avoid the misattribution of arousal to uncontrolled stimuli. Within the domain of foreign language education research, fixed data collection/analysis parameters able to document real-time moment-to-moment fluctuations have not been documented due to methodological limitations. In response to technological developments in wearable research devices, new opportunities have arisen to expand the research methodologies used in the recording, assessment and analysis of foreign language education anxiety.
It is inappropriate to assume that a null effect on a self-report measure means that emotional processes were not involved in the psychological phenomena of interest. That is, the (often poor) measurement of emotion should not be conflated with emotion itself.
(Harmon-Jones et al. 2016: 2)
Physiological channels (e.g., heart rate, cortisol sampling, or skin conductance) are difficult for individuals to mask or control, which creates the possibility of more objectively gauging individuals’ arousal in testing situations.
(Roos et al. 2021: 583)
Educational Psychology Review
Physiological Data Accessible to Foreign Language Education Researchers
Using the Empatica E4 wristband, a "medical-grade wearable device that offers real-time physiological data acquisition, enabling researchers to conduct in-depth analysis and visualization” (Empatica Inc. 2021), high-integrity physiological data can now be captured with relative ease. However, the data captured by the Empatica E4 does not lend itself to application within foreign language education research due to raw data format and data complexity. A technical solution was therefore required to bring such useful physiological data into reach of educational practitioners. The Situation Specific Arousal Analyzer (SSAA) application has been designed to make Empatica E4 data accessible to foreign language education researchers, particularly those with an interest in state specific anxiety. The SSAA permits access to practical data output relative to autonomic nervous system arousal in state specific situations through the quantification of indicators such as Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and Electrodermal Activity (EDA) under a range of user-defined experimental parameters. The SSAA aims to contribute to an expansion of current methodologies and push contemporary research beyond experiential self-report measures thereby allowing a wider demographic to benefit from innovations in physiological data capture, processing and analysis.