Eye Movements When Looking at Print Advertisements: The Goal of the Viewer Matters.

Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA.
Applied Cognitive Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.67). 07/2008; 22(5):697-707. DOI: 10.1002/acp.1389
Source: PubMed


Viewers looked at print advertisements as their eye movements were recorded. Half of them were asked to rate how much they liked each ad (for convenience, we will generally use the term 'ad' from this point on), while the other half were asked to rate the effectiveness of each ad. Previous research indicated that viewers who were asked to consider purchasing products in the ads looked at the text earlier and more often than the picture part of the ad. In contrast, viewers in the present experiment looked at the picture part of the ad earlier and longer than the text. The results indicate quite clearly that the goal of the viewer very much influences where (and for how long) viewers look at different parts of ads, but also indicate that the nature of the ad per se matters.

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    • "Although evidence accumulation models and the gaze cascade effect suggest an important role for the location of the first fixation, (i.e., the models predict that the alternative that is looked at first would be more likely to be chosen), empirical results on the association between first fixation and choice are mixed: some studies have shown that people are more likely to choose the item that they fixated on first (e.g., Glaholt & Reingold, 2011; Krajbich et al., 2010; Schotter et al., 2010) while other studies (e.g., Armel et al., 2008) have found no association between first fixation location and choice. Some authors have proposed that the location of the first fixation is influenced by top down effects of pre-existing preferences (e.g., for palatable high energy foods, Werthmann, Mogg, Bradley, & Jansen, 2011), while others posit that the location of the first fixation is mainly driven by factors that are uncorrelated with value, such as visual attributes (e.g., Bialkova & van Trijp, 2011; Lohse, 1997; Milosavljevic et al., 2012; Navalpakkam et al., 2012; Wolfe & Horowitz, 2004), the place on the shelf (Chandon, Hutchinson, Bradlow, & Young, 2009), cultural norms (e.g., reading from left to right, Krajbich et al., 2010), or a person's decision goal (e.g., to identify the most effective versus the most liked advertisements , Rayner et al., 2008). Thus, it is unknown whether the first fixation indeed has a causal (down-stream) effect on choice, as the decision-making models described above would suggest. "
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    • "type of information F(1,6) = 14.61, p = 0.009, η 2 p = 0.71. This finding is typical and has also been reported in previous studies (Rayner et al., 2001, 2008). The type of product and the interaction remained non-significant, "
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