Most of the common physiological measures in personality research are obtained from electrodes, or sensors placed on the surface of a participant' s skin. They are nonin-vasive in that they do not penetrate the skin, and these electrodes cause practically no discomfort. One drawback to such measures is that the participant is literally wired to the physiological recording machine (often called a polygraph), so movement is constrained. A new generation of electrodes will, however , overcome this limitation through the use of telemetry, a process by which electrical signals are sent from the participant to the polygraph through radio waves instead of by wires. This is already being used with astronauts, in which their physiological systems are being monitored constantly on earth. Three physiological measures of particular interest to personality psychologists are electrodermal activity (skin conductance of electricity), cardiovascular measures, and activity in the brain. Other biological measures, such as the amounts of hormones in the blood are also of interest. We will discuss each of these in turn.
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