Peschel, Anne3; Orquin, Jacob Lund3; Mueller Loose, Simone3
1 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Department of Management - MAPP - Centre for Research on Value Creation in the Food Sector, Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
Attention processes and decision making are accepted to be closely linked together because only information that is attended to can be incorporated in the decision process. Little is known however, to which extent bottom-up processes of attention affect stimulus selection and therefore the information available to form a decision. Does changing one visual cue in the stimulus set affect attention towards this cue and what does that mean for the choice outcome? To address this, we conducted a combined eye tracking and choice experiment in a consumer choice setting with visual shelf simulations of different product categories. Surface size and visual saliency of a product label were manipulated to determine bottom-up effects on attention and choice. Results show a strong and significant increase in attention in terms of fixation likelihood towards product labels which are larger and more visually salient. The observed effect on attention also carries over into increased choice likelihood. From these results, we conclude that even small changes in the choice capture attention based on bottom-up processes. Also for eye tracking studies in other domains (e.g. search tasks) this means that stimulus preparation must be conducted carefully to control for bottom-up effects.