How do we make simple choices such as deciding between an apple and an orange? Recent empirical evidence suggests that choice behaviour and gaze allocation are closely linked at the group level, whereby items looked at longer during the decision-making process are more likely to be chosen. However, it is unclear how variable this gaze bias effect is between individuals. Here we investigate this question across four different simple choice experiments and using a computational model that can be easily applied to individuals. We show that an association between gaze and choice is present for most individuals, but differs considerably in strength. Generally, individuals with a strong association between gaze and choice behaviour are worse at choosing the best item from a choice set compared with individuals with a weak association. Accounting for individuals’ variability in gaze bias in the model can explain and accurately predict individual differences in choice behaviour.
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All datasets are available at http://www.github.com/glamlab/gaze-bias-differences. The Folke 2016 dataset59 is originally available at figshare: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.3756144.v2.
All analyses and figures can be reproduced using the datasets, scripts and GLAM resources that are available at http://www.github.com/glamlab/gaze-bias-differences.
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The Junior Professorship of P.N.C.M. as well as the associated Dahlem International Network Junior Research Group Neuroeconomics is supported by Freie Universität Berlin within the Excellence Initiative of the German Research Foundation (DFG). Further support for P.N.C.M. is provided by the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. F.M. is supported by the International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course (LIFE). I.K. is funded by the National Science Foundation Career Award 1554837. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Thomas, A.W., Molter, F., Krajbich, I. et al. Gaze bias differences capture individual choice behaviour. Nat Hum Behav 3, 625–635 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-019-0584-8
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