Purdue University Graduate School
wei-liang-kaos 11.19.2018 updated.pdf (530.22 kB)

Design and Evaluation of a Wearable Technology Using Biomedical Sensing for Students Who Experience Anxiety

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posted on 2019-01-02, 19:09 authored by Wei-Liang KaoWei-Liang Kao
The present study evaluated the feasibility and social validity of using a wearable technology to detect anxiety for educational purposes. Twenty college student who planned to take a Graduate Study Exam (GRE) for attending graduate school were recruited to participate in the study. Each participant completed a practice GRE with quantitative and verbal reasoning sections. The participants were asked to complete a demographic questionnaire and State and Trait Anxiety Inventory before the practice exam. An acceptability questionnaire was administered after the practice exam to collect data on the social validity of the wearable technology. During the practice exam, the participants were asked to tap a button on the wearable device to report stressful incidents (SI) when they felt the exam questions were causing them to feel stressed. The participants’ heart rate and skin conductance data were collected and analyzed with the timing of their self-reported SI. The data indicated that significant heart rate changes were detected in 66% and 70% of the self-reported SI in the quantitative and verbal reasoning sections, respectively. The results indicated heart rate data could be used for short-term anxiety monitoring for educational purposes in the real classrooms. The social validity data indicated polarized results for the acceptance of an anxiety monitoring technology for educational purposes. Participants with higher familiarity with wearable devices in general reported the wearable device used in the study less distracting during the practice exams. Participants with higher levels of anxiety reported being less comfortable with their physiological signals monitored during the practice exams. Implications and suggestions for future research studies are discussed.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Computer and Information Technology

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

John Springer

Additional Committee Member 2

James L. Mohler

Additional Committee Member 3

Oliver Wendt

Additional Committee Member 4

Yan Ping Xin

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