Digital stress is a phenomenon with various facets and multi-levelled causes and effects. The social environment and behaviour concerning cognitive and affective processes as well as short-, medium-, and long-term physiological changes forming at a chronic exposure with digital stress can be observed. To measure stress means to measure its causes and effects on one or more levels. In particular, external stimuli and stress exposures, individual competences and resources, applied coping strategies, and short- or long-term effects of stress will be measured. This variety implies we need a diverse set of instruments to collect data about digital stress and similar concepts in a comprehensive way.
Our methods of measurement will contain structured questionnaire scales that enable affected people to assess their stress subjectively. Also, physiological reactions, such as changes of heart rate, skin conductance, or pupil size will be factors to draw conclusions about one’s digital stress. Furthermore, there are measurable biomarkers in saliva and hair such as cortisol and alpha-amylase. Another marker can be detected in capillary blood to determine inflammatory processes in the body.
Sensors such as fitness trackers, smartphones, microphones, and cameras can also help studying mimics, speech, and behaviour of people to draw conclusions on their stressors and stress effects. This requires, of course, their informed consent and participation of the individual people. About these and other ways of measuring digital stress, their causes and effects will be discussed in an interdisciplinary way between the individual projects to gain insights about digital stress in all its facets and to promote its exploration even further.