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Tim Holmes, Alice Lowenhoff, Jon Ward, Hayley Thair, Elina Nikolaidou; Top down effects in the real-world: An empirical assessment of smoker status on visual attention to brand and warnings when viewing different tobacco package designs. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):551. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/14.10.551.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Recent studies reporting an increase in the attention to health warning messages when highly salient branding is removed from cigarette packages suggest that tobacco users might provide a ready source of participants to study the real-world top-down modulation of attention. We recruited a gender balanced sample of 120 participants (18-73 years, mean 38, stdev 16), comprising 40 non-smokers, infrequent smokers and regular smokers. Life size, photographic images of physical packages were presented for 10 seconds each on high definition screens whilst eye-movements were recorded using a Tobii TX300. A 2x2 design (branded vs. plain, text warning vs. graphic) was used for 8 top UK brands with current UK text and graphic warning messages. 8 unfamiliar "fake" tobacco brands were also included, as well as an equal number of distractor stimuli showing real and fake food and drink products, meaning each participant saw 128 images in total, presented in random sequence over 4 blocks. Our results suggest that infrequent smokers behave differently from regular and non-smokers and show a slower disengagement from the warning messages. Moreover, regular and non-smokers are strongly resistant to salience effects, with attention to the brand dominating even with the proposed plain packaging.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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