Variations of Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) in Persons of Bilious and Phlegmatic Temperament

Sartaj Ahmad and Ferasat Ali

Hippocratic Journal of Unani Medicine

Hippocratic Journal of Unani Medicine July - September 2016, Vol. 11 No. 3, Pages 93-103


The galvanic skin response (GSR) is one of the several electrodermal responses that refer to the changes in the electrical properties of human skin caused by an interaction between environmental events and the person’s psychological state. Easily measured and relatively reliable GSR has been used as an index for providing measurable parameter to understand the psychological state of persons having different temperaments. The GSR reflects the sweat gland activity, which in turn corresponds to changes in the sympathetic nervous system. The present study has been designed to measure GSR during normal and stressful condition in healthy volunteers of bilious and phlegmatic temperament.

Volunteers were selected randomly from students of Aligarh Muslim University and other colleges of Aligarh city; preference was however given to the students of Ajmal Khan Tibbiya College. 100 volunteers of both sexes in the age group of 18-35 years having bilious and phlegmatic temperament were selected for the study. Their GSR was measured with the help of GSR meter and the findings were expressed numerically.

During normal (stress free) condition the mean GSR value was scored as 307.5±25.214 and 289.24±29.038 in bilious and phlegmatic subjects, respectively. While during stressful condition, the mean GSR value was found to be 206.08 ±24.392 and 277.7±29.039 in bilious and phlegmatic subjects, respectively. The findings indicated that individuals of bilious temperament have comparatively more GSR value than those of phlegmatic temperament during normal condition but during stressful condition bilious individuals have less GSR value than the persons of phlegmatic temperament. It was concluded therefore that bilious individual have higher tendency of anxiety and stress.

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