The measurement of an individual’s heart rate has many relevant theoretical implications for communication research. However, there are reasons to believe that the most common way of reporting cardiac response—beats per minute (BPM)—might not be appropriate for all methodological situations. This article presents an overview of the historical use of cardiac activity within communication research, and provides a summary of the current conceptualizations of attention and resource allocation. To fully understand the difference between BPM and interbeat interval (IBI)—an alternate method for reporting cardiac response—a comparative analysis was performed on a data set from a previously published study. This article concludes with a set of suggestions that researchers may want to consider when utilizing BPM or IBI within communication research.
- Cardiac Response
- Resource Allocation