Use of Eye Tracking for Studying Survey Response Processes 1
This chapter describes eye tracking as a promising new method for studying survey responses. It discusses how eye tracking differs from other traditional methods used to study respondent behaviors. Survey data are often collected via electronic devices that enable visual presentation of questions, such as personal computers, personal digital assistant and cell phones. These surveys are often self-administered, highlighting the importance of a clear and neutral question design. Empirical studies have demonstrated that visual features of Web surveys such as spacing, position, order, and even color of response options can affect survey responses. Light enters the eye through the cornea, passes through the pupil and the lens behind it, and ends on the retina, where photosensitive rod and cone cells transform it into neural signals. The central part of the retina, called the fovea, is densely packed with cone cells, enabling the high-acuity vision needed for reading.