Information graphics as orienting response

Pjesivac, Ivanka., Wojdynski, Bart, & Geidner, Nick. (May, 2017). Information graphics as orienting response: An eye-tracking study of the role of visuospatial attention in processing of television news. Paper accepted for presentation at the Annual Conference of International Communication Association (ICA). San Diego, CA.

Abstract: This experimental study (N=77) examined the role of infographics in orienting viewer’s attention in television news. The results of the eye-tracking study showed that when used in the over-the-shoulder format, visual representation of numerical data act as an orienting response and direct viewer’s attention to that part of the screen. In terms of the type of infographic, bar graphs were more successful in attracting viewer’s attention than simple tabular presentation of information. In addition, the study showed that infographics positively predicted recall of numerical information from television news, and that quantitative ability of participants was also positively related to information recall. The study is the first one to directly measure attention allocation to infographics in television news and relates it to orienting response. As such, it contributes to research in attention allocation and information processing of mass mediated messages. The results are discussed using Limited Capacity Model of information processing.

Ivanka Pjesivac  Bartosz Wojdynski 

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