Abstract for ECVP 2015 Symposium: Observer Effects on Eye Movement Research "Temporal dynamics of social attention in face-to-face situations"

Article English OPEN
Freeth, M. ; Vablas, A. (2015)
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications

In face to face eye-tracking studies, researchers often use total fixation times on areas of interest to assess social attention. However, other measures can also be used to investigate potentially more subtle differences in social attention strategy. Eye-tracking data from a face to face interaction study will be presented which aimed to assess potential differences in social attention strategy between individuals who were classified as being high or low in autistic traits. No differences in overall fixations in various areas of interest were observed. However, there were clear differences in temporal dynamics of eye-movements. Individuals who were high in autistic traits exhibited reduced visual exploration overall, as demonstrated by shorter and less frequent saccades during the face to face interaction. Differences were not accounted for by social anxiety. Thus it is proposed that multiple eye-tracking measures should be used to understand more of the subtleties of visual attention strategy. Such measures may be less under conscious control and therefore less susceptible to modification in response to observer effects.
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