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Cognitive Biases and Gaze Direction: An Experimental Study

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  • Alessandro Innocenti

    ()

  • Alessandra Rufa

    ()

  • Jacopo Semmoloni

    ()

Abstract

This paper investigates the validity of the model of dual processing by means of eyetracking methods. In this theoretical framework, gaze direction may be a revealing signal of how automatic detection is modified or sustained by controlled search. We performed an experiment by using a stylized decisional framework, i.e. informational cascade, proposed by economists to investigate the rationality of imitative behavior. Our main result is that automatic detection as revealed by gaze direction is driven by mechanisms that are dependent on cognitive biases. In particular, we find significant statistical correlation between subjects’ first fixation and their revealed patterns of choice. Our findings support the hypothesis that the process of automatic detection is not independent on cognitive processes.

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Paper provided by University of Siena in its series Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena with number 022.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:usi:labsit:022

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Keywords: informational cascades; overconfidence; eye-tracking; information processing; cognitive biases;

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  1. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
  2. K. Carrie Armel & Aurelie Beaumel & Antonio Rangel, 2008. "Biasing simple choices by manipulating relative visual attention," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 3, pages 396-403, June.
  3. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  4. Markus Noth & Martin Weber, 2003. "Information Aggregation with Random Ordering: Cascades and Overconfidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 166-189, January.
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