Action as a Window to Perception: Measuring Attention with Mouse Movements


Addie Johnson, Experimental and Work Psychology, University of Groningen Grote Kruisstraat 2/1 9712 TS Groningen, The Netherlands.



Eye-gaze tracking has been shown to deliver valuable information about how people view advertisements and what they pay attention to. However, practical difficulties in its application limit its usability by marketing researchers. Here, we explore the use of mouse tracking to evaluate viewing behavior by determining whether the hand can be trained to follow visual spatial attention and whether visual processing can be estimated by tracking pointing movements made with a computer mouse. In brief, the results of the research are very promising, showing high correlations between the scan paths for the eye and the mouse, as well as high correlations between the percentage of time spent in designated regions of interest for the mouse and the eye. An additional comparison of the data with that of a group who did not use a mouse while viewing the experimental stimuli showed that viewing patterns were not disrupted by mouse use. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.