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John Pospisil, Kelly Rutan; Mean gaze duration validates self-reports of image importance. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):642. doi: 10.1167/8.6.642.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
When individuals make color preference choices between images, are they focusing on areas of an image they find most likeable or areas they find most important? Self-reports provide data regarding whether an individual believes a certain area of an image is important or attractive but, according to past research, may not accurately reflect how their attention is allocated. Eye-tracking participants while performing such a task can provide physiological data corresponding to an individual's location of attention while viewing a scene. Such information can also be used to corroborate self-report data.
We performed two experiments combining paired-comparison data, self-reports and eye-tracking information to determine if participants self-reports were valid and to assess whether individuals used the important or the more liked areas of an image to make their decision.
In experiment one, 53 participants completed a 2-AFC color preference test and exit survey. The stimuli for the test were four-panel images of faces or landscapes. Participants saw images with identical content but varied on color. They rated how likeable and how important they felt each quadrant of a particular image was to their decision. We selected image pairs that showed statistically significant liking-importance discrepancies (i.e. highly liked but not important or very important but disliked) for the next experiment.
In experiment two, a separate pool of twelve participants completed a 2-AFC color preference test using the selected pairs from the first experiment one while wearing eye-tracking apparatus. Contrary to many results indicating participants' gaze duration at a target is proportional to how well-liked that target is, we hypothesized that gaze duration would be longer at “important” images rather than “liked” images. Results supported that hypothesis and indicated that participants' self-reports of image importance were accurate, as average gaze duration was directly proportional to rated image importance.
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