The time course of gaze bias in visual decision tasks
In three experiments, we used eyetracking to investigate the time course of biases in looking behaviour during visual decision making. Our study replicated and extended prior research by Shimojo, Simion, Shimojo, and Scheier (2003), and Simion and Shimojo (2006). Three groups of participants performed forced-choice decisions in a two-alternative free-viewing condition (Experiment 1a), a two-alternative gaze-contingent window condition (Experiment 1b), and an eight-alternative free-viewing condition (Experiment 1c). Participants viewed photographic art images and were instructed to select the one that they preferred (preference task), or the one that they judged to be photographed most recently (recency task). Across experiments and tasks, we demonstrated robust bias towards the chosen item in either gaze duration, gaze frequency or both. The present gaze bias effect was less task specific than those reported previously. Importantly, in the eight-alternative condition we demonstrated a very early gaze bias effect, which rules out a postdecision response-related explanation.