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Psychol Sci. 2018 Dec 7:956797618810521. doi: 10.1177/0956797618810521. [Epub ahead of print]

Gaze Amplifies Value in Decision Making.

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1 Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University.
2 Department of Economics, The Ohio State University.


When making decisions, people tend to choose the option they have looked at more. An unanswered question is how attention influences the choice process: whether it amplifies the subjective value of the looked-at option or instead adds a constant, value-independent bias. To address this, we examined choice data from six eye-tracking studies ( Ns = 39, 44, 44, 36, 20, and 45, respectively) to characterize the interaction between value and gaze in the choice process. We found that the summed values of the options influenced response times in every data set and the gaze-choice correlation in most data sets, in line with an amplifying role of attention in the choice process. Our results suggest that this amplifying effect is more pronounced in tasks using large sets of familiar stimuli, compared with tasks using small sets of learned stimuli.


attention; computational modeling; decision making; drift-diffusion model; eye tracking


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