Evaluating the Self-Assessment Manikin for HCI Research

Evaluating the Self-Assessment Manikin for HCI Research
Andreas Schmid
Melanie Kloss, Polina Ugnivenko
questinonnaire, hci studies, validation


The self-assessment manikin is a non-verbal questionnaire that measures pleasure, arousal and dominance of participants. Compared to other questionnaires with similar metrics, SAM is very short and purely pictorial. Therefore it can be used with illiterate participants, for example children.

Figure 1: The self-assessment manikin. First panel: Pleasure. Second Panel: Arousal. Third Panel: Dominance. [1]

SAM consists of three panels with manikins representing the three metrics of the questionnaire (Fig. 1). It has been validated with stimuli from the IAPS [2, 3].

Since its introduction in 1994, SAM has been widely used (~7500 citations) in various different disciplines like psychology, behavioral science and medicine. In HCI research however, SAM seems to be rarely used even though its metrics can be interesting for e.g. user experience studies.

Zielsetzung der Arbeit

This work aims to find out whether SAM is suitable for measuring pleasure, arousal and dominance of participants during HCI tasks. Therefore, it has to be compared to other validated metrics in a controlled study with standardized tasks.

Konkrete Aufgaben


Erwartete Vorkenntnisse

  • designing and conducting a user study flawlessly
  • data evaluation

Weiterführende Quellen

[1] Bradley, M. M., & Lang, P. J. (1994). Measuring emotion: the self-assessment manikin and the semantic differential. Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry, 25(1), 49-59.

[2] Lang, P.J., Bradley, M.M., & Cuthbert, B.N. (2008). International affective picture system (IAPS): Affective ratings of pictures and instruction manual. Technical Report A-8. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

[3] Lang, P. J., Bradley, M. M., & Cuthbert, B. N. (1997). International affective picture system (IAPS): Technical manual and affective ratings. NIMH Center for the Study of Emotion and Attention, 1, 39-58.