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Ad skipping: Novelty seeking or avoidance

Treleaven-Hassard, S., Bellman, S., Drummond, P.D.ORCID: 0000-0002-3711-8737, Marevic, D. and Varan, D. (2008) Ad skipping: Novelty seeking or avoidance. In: 18th Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Psychophysiology (ASP2008), 27 - 29 November 2008, University of Tasmania, Tasmania


Digital video recorders have made it easier for television viewers to avoid ads by fast forwarding and ad skipping. If viewers skip to avoid ads, they would not be interested in the next ad they skip to. Alternatively, if viewers skip because the current ad is uninteresting, they may still be receptive to the next ad, provided it was interesting for them. Data from 52 students was used to measure skin conductance (SCL) before and after skipping and to investigate whether ad skipping was followed by heart rate deceleration. Data from 5 seconds before and after viewer-controlled ad skips were compared to the same time period before and after the change from one commercial to another. SCL began increasing three seconds prior to ad skipping and continued to increase until three seconds after the ad skip, whereas there was a downward trend across natural commercial changes, so that average SCL was higher in response to skipped ads. These results indicate the decision to skip is associated with increased physiological arousal, consistent with mobilizing physical resources to press the skip button. Males appear to skip to avoid, whereas female skippers are potentially still receptive to the next ad, following a skip.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Audience Research Labs
School of Psychology
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