Are Norwegian politicians stressed?

Source: Visit Estonia

Are Norwegian politicians stressed?

Source: Visit Estonia

We in Visit Estonia wanted to find out how stressful it is to be a politician. So we made a little experiment and chose some Norwegian leading politicians to measure their stress levels during their debate in television.

Audun Lysbakken

During the experiment

Photo by: Visit Estonia

How does it work?

Emolyzr is an agency specialized on emotion measures. It assessed stress-related emotions of the politicians by analyzing their faces during the TV debate with a software developed by the German research organization Fraunhofer. This software can not only identify the age and sex of a person, but profile a range of emotions and record subtle facial changes to assist that. It processes HD video in real-time and then analyses facial cues.

Especially of interest were the amount of time that the software could detect stress-related emotions (anger & sadness) and the stress-protective emotion happiness. From these observations, the scientists of Emolyzr developed a stress-score. This score is valid only for the specific situation of the current TV debate and cannot be translated into other life areas, as we do not have any data on these available.

Bjornar Moxnes

Being angry?Photo by: Visit Estonia

What were the results of this experiment?

  • Merely a few stress signs have been observed during the debate. And only 2 politicians – Bjornar and Lysbakken – showed significant signs of stress-related emotions (anger and sadness), with a slight "advantage" of Lysbakken, especially because he shows signs of sadness (in work-context this is burn-out related), and nearly no happiness (a stress protective emotion).
  • In 38% of the time on screen, Lsybakken showed signs of stress-related emotions, but only in 4% of the time was he showing the stress-protective emotion – happiness.
  • Bjornar was showing anger in 40% of the time on screen, but no sadness; he is stressed, but yet in an acceptable way. Plus, he was showing signs of happiness in 14% of the time!
  • Trygve was also showing some significant amounts of stress (anger and sadness), but also a lot of happiness. From an emotional perspective he seems to be the most balanced and open to experience politics. However, the data basis is weak, as we've got him on screen for only a few seconds.
  • Erna, Une, Siv, Jonas & Trine show nearly no sign of sadness. Yay! On the other hand – Knut, Erna, Une and Trygve show a lot of "surprise". Surprise in this context may better be understood as "I'm not guilty". Maybe this expression has been practiced in order to appear harmless?

Trygve Slagsvold Vedum

Showing also lots of signs of happiness!

Photo by: Visit Estonia

Stress scores (1 to 100)

  • Lysbakken 80
  • Bjornar 70
  • Trygve 50
  • Knut 30
  • Erna and Une 20
  • Siv, Jonas and Trine 10


Of course one may use other stress-related indicators (sweat, skin color), but in this context they might be misleading, as the high temperatures of TV studio might have a different impact on the candidates, depending on their genetics and physical constitution.


So no more waiting! Let Estonia's pure nature relieve your stress!

Find out more at visitestonia.com/en/stressbuster

Last updated : 11.10.2017
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