Accepted paper:

Datafied life and contradictory evidence


Mika Pantzar (University of Helsinki )

Paper short abstract:

Human heart beats not only as part of the nervous system, but also as part of social life. Based on our study Social rhythm of the heart, focusing on 35 individuals’ weekly stress profiles, my presentation explores the discrepancies between physiological stress data and subjective experiences

Paper long abstract:

Human heart beats not only as part of the nervous system, but also as part of social life. This was hypothesis of our study Social rhythms of the heart, focusing on 35 individuals' weekly stress profiles measured in terms of heart rate variability. Our data revealed thought provoking and notable differences in the ways mouth, i.e. self-reported activities and expressions of stress and recovery (after the monitoring period) and heart, i.e. physiological HRV measurement, recognized periods of stress and recovery. In less than a half of the captured episodes (n=169), did the heart and mouth agree about the experience of stress or recovery. My presentation elaborates the ways participants see, explain, react and contextualize these seemingly controversial findings. To what extent strong and fixed cultural interpretations of a certain situations (e.g. 'home work stress') explain contradictory interpretations of heart and mouth? We found that different routine tasks, for instance, some home chores were from heart's point of view recovering activities. Correspondingly, some activities were classified as relaxing in interviews, but physiologically the case was quite the opposite (e.g. sport activities, alcohol drinking). People found the differences between the physiologically measured and the self-reported levels of stress and recovery intriguing. In this sense our study functioned as an intervention, enhancing self-reflection. For instance, one person started to go to work earlier in the morning in order to get a couple of tranquil hours there before the arrival of two colleagues whose presence caused her stress level to rise.

panel T102
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