Engagement is enhanced by the ability to access the state of flow during a task, which is described as a full immersion experience. We report two studies on the efficacy of using physiological data collected from a wearable sensor for the automated prediction of flow. Study 1 took a two-level block design where activities were nested within its participants. A total of five participants were asked to complete 12 tasks that aligned with their interests while wearing the Empatica E4 sensor. This yielded 60 total tasks across the five participants. In a second study representing daily use of the device, a participant wore the device over the course of 10 unstructured activities over 2 weeks. The efficacy of the features derived from the first study were tested on these data. For the first study, a two-level fixed effects stepwise logistic regression procedure indicated that five features were significant predictors of flow. In total, two were related to skin temperature (median change with respect to the baseline and skewness of the temperature distribution) and three were related to acceleration (the acceleration skewness in the x and y directions and the kurtosis of acceleration in the y direction). Logistic regression and naïve Bayes models provided a strong classification performance (AUC > 0.7, between-participant cross-validation). For the second study, these same features yielded a satisfactory prediction of flow for the new participant wearing the device in an unstructured daily use setting (AUC > 0.7, leave-one-out cross-validation). The features related to acceleration and skin temperature appear to translate well for the tracking of flow in a daily use environment.
& Banerjee, T.
(2023). A Preliminary Study of the Efficacy of Using a Wrist-Worn Multiparameter Sensor for the Prediction of Cognitive Flow States in University-Level Students. Sensors, 23 (8), 3957.