PsychNology Journal, Volume 7, Number 2, 141 - 158

Predicting preference from fixations

Mackenzie G. Glaholt, Eyal M. Reingold
University of Toronto Mississauga, Canada


Mei-Chun Wu
National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan



We measured the strength of the association between looking behaviour and preference. Participants selected the most preferred face out of a grid of 8 faces. Fixation times were correlated with selection on a trial-by-trial basis, as well as with explicit preference ratings. Furthermore, by ranking features based on fixation times, we were able to successfully predict participants’ preferences for novel feature combinations in a two-alternative forced choice task. In addition, we obtained a similar pattern of findings in a very different stimulus domain: mock company logos. Our results indicated that fixation times can be used to predict selection in large arrays and they might also be employed to estimate preferences for whole stimuli as well as their constituent features.



Eye movements, preference, gaze bias, decision making.


Glaholt, M.G., Wu. M., & Reingold, E.M. (2009). Predicting preference from fixations. PsychNology Journal, 7(2), 141 – 158. Retrieved [month] [day], [year], from

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