Christian Valuch, Lena S Pflüger, Bernard Wallner, Bruno Laeng, and Ulrich Ansorge (2015)

Using eye tracking to test for individual differences in attention to attractive faces.

Frontiers in Psychology, 6.

We assessed individual differences in visual attention toward faces in relation to their attractiveness via saccadic reaction times. Motivated by the aim to understand individual differences in attention to faces, we tested three hypotheses: (a) Attractive faces hold or capture attention more effectively than less attractive faces; (b) men show a stronger bias toward attractive opposite-sex faces than women; and (c) blue-eyed men show a stronger bias toward blue-eyed than brown-eyed feminine faces. The latter test was included because prior research suggested a high effect size. Our data supported hypotheses (a) and (b) but not (c). By conducting separate tests for disengagement of attention and attention capture, we found that individual differences exist at distinct stages of attentional processing but these differences are of varying robustness and importance. In our conclusion, we also advocate the use of linear mixed effects models as the most appropriate statistical approach for studying inter-individual differences in visual attention with naturalistic stimuli. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Sponsor: University of Vienna, Austria. Grant: P24794-B24. Other Details: Cognitive Science Research Platform. Recipients: No recipient indicated