Events and Seminars : 2013 Seminars

ATTENTION AND CHOICE DURING FOOD-RELATED DECISION MAKING: INSIGHTS FROM COMPUTATIONAL NEUROSCIENCE

MILICA MORMANN, PH.D.
Research Assistant Professor School of Business, University of Miami
Affiliated Faculty Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy

TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014
11:00 a.m.– 12:00 p.m, CRB 692

Many every-day decisions require viewing displays with several alternatives and then rapidly choosing one, e.g., choosing a snack from a vending machine. We examine how stimulus-based visual saliency, relative to person-based preferences, affects attention and choice among food items on a store shelf. We use a computational model of visual saliency to measure the relative visual saliency of choice alternatives and eye-tracking to record moment-to-moment eye-movements during the decision-making process. We find that person-based preferences can be systematically overridden by stimulus-based visual saliency because people look (1) earlier, (2) more often, and (3) overall longer at choice alternatives that are visually salient; this leads consumers to favorably consider and choose visually salient alternatives, sometimes at the expense of their own preferences. In a companion paper, we utilize a similar multi-alternative decision-making task to show that two linked accumulator models, one making perceptual and another economic decisions, account for consumers’ viewing patterns and choices.

http://www.law.miami.edu/~mmormann