Recent researches suggest that eye-tracking and decision-making have some correlations. Our interests and desires are important for decision-making. While we like something, our eyes speak. Like a popular quote from one of the most famous movies “Scare Face”: “The eyes chico… They never lie..”. There is also a common belief in the public that our eyes give messages about our interests. However, there are two distinctive ideas about it. On the one hand, some people believe that we tend to look more while we are interested. On the other hand, others believe the opposite. Researches about eye-tracking give some hints to solve this mystery.
What should we understand when we say eye-tracking? Our eyes may give a different reaction to certain situations. For example, more light makes our pupils little. Also, pupil dilation is observed when interest and excitement increase (Hess et al., 1960). Changes in eye fixation might be another example. While we focus on something we might overtly use our eyes through fixing them at one point. Shortly, eye-tracking might be used in multidimensional ways. We might observe the duration of the eyes on one point, gaze direction, and pupil dilation, or constriction thanks to eye-tracking.
Our attention found as related to our eye movements (Popa et al., 2015). Eye-tracking studies gain importance because visual processing is important for attention. Feelings that come from five senses and help us to analyze and make meanings about the word. Visualization is the most dominant sense for most of us. Often it is easy to remember what we see. So that during we make a decision, mostly we use visual information. Especially while we decide between two different products or objects, we make observations visually. Even the product is a perfume first we look at it before smelling it. We might say that appearance of the products is the first phase of decision making. To sum, eye-tracking methods are connected with what we like. Because as the first step of the decision-making we pick and attend to the preferred objects with our eyes before other senses.
The eye-tracking study from Zurich University explains the relation between decision making and pupil width (Preuschoff et al., 2011). There is an adrenaline type that is related to excitement: Noradrenaline (NA). There are already plenty of past studies that found that pupil dilation is related to excitement and interest. Nevertheless, it is a secret what is the reason behind it. The study conducted by Preuschoff and friends assumes that the NA hormone causes pupil dilation. Additionally, Fiedler and Glöckner (2012) state that pupil dilation increase seems to happen before decision-making time. In short, with the help of changes in pupil width, we may understand the final preference and desire of the people.
In a conclusion, eye-tracking methods are related to attention. It gives us a hint for decision-making processes. Hence in the process of creating a brand or a product, it is crucial to have visual elements that the majority would like. For marketing strategies, eye-tracking methods might be effective and useful. As Emoty.AI we use eye-tracking as a method for your brands.
Fiedler, S., & Glöckner, A. (2012). The dynamics of decision making in risky choice: An eye-tracking analysis. Frontiers in psychology, 3, 335.
Hess, E. H., & Polt, J. M. (1960). Pupil size as related to interest value of visual stimuli. Science, 132(3423), 349-350.
Popa, L., Selejan, O., Scott, A., Mureşanu, D. F., Balea, M., & Rafila, A. (2015). Reading beyond the glance: eye tracking in neurosciences. Neurological Sciences, 36(5), 683-688.
Preuschoff, K., t Hart, B. M., & Einhauser, W. (2011). Pupil dilation signals surprise: Evidence for noradrenaline’s role in decision making. Frontiers in neuroscience, 5, 115.
Stewart, N., Hermens, F., & Matthews, W. J. (2016). Eye movements in risky choice. Journal of behavioral decision making, 29(2-3), 116-13