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The eyes have it: Using eye tracking to inform information processing strategies in multi‐attributes choices

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  • Mandy Ryan
  • Nicolas Krucien
  • Frouke Hermens

Abstract

Although choice experiments (CEs) are widely applied in economics to study choice behaviour, understanding of how individuals process attribute information remains limited. We show how eye‐tracking methods can provide insight into how decisions are made. Participants completed a CE, while their eye movements were recorded. Results show that although the information presented guided participants' decisions, there were also several processing biases at work. Evidence was found of (a) top‐to‐bottom, (b) left‐to‐right, and (c) first‐to‐last order biases. Experimental factors—whether attributes are defined as “best” or “worst,” choice task complexity, and attribute ordering—also influence information processing. How individuals visually process attribute information was shown to be related to their choices. Implications for the design and analysis of CEs and future research are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Mandy Ryan & Nicolas Krucien & Frouke Hermens, 2018. "The eyes have it: Using eye tracking to inform information processing strategies in multi‐attributes choices," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 709-721, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:27:y:2018:i:4:p:709-721
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.3626
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. David Mott’s journal round-up for 16th September 2019
      by David Mott in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2019-09-16 11:00:00

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    1. Jeffrey E. Harris & Mariana Gerstenblüth & Patricia Triunfo, 2018. "Smokers’ Rational Lexicographic Preferences for Cigarette Package Warnings: A Discrete Choice Experiment with Eye Tracking," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0218, Department of Economics - dECON.
    2. Genie, Mesfin G. & Nicoló, Antonio & Pasini, Giacomo, 2020. "The role of heterogeneity of patients’ preferences in kidney transplantation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
    3. Genie, Mesfin G. & Nicoló, Antonio & Pasini, Giacomo, 2020. "The role of heterogeneity of patients’ preferences in kidney transplantation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
    4. Zuschke, Nick, 2020. "An analysis of process-tracing research on consumer decision-making," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 305-320.
    5. Krucien, Nicolas & Heidenreich, Sebastian & Gafni, Amiram & Pelletier-Fleury, Nathalie, 2020. "Measuring public preferences in France for potential consequences stemming from re-allocation of healthcare resources," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 246(C).

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