Eye-movements, Attention, and Utility Accumulation During Brand Choice

50 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2021

See all articles by F. G. M. (Rik) Pieters

F. G. M. (Rik) Pieters

Tilburg University, CentER

Tulin Erdem

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business; New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing

Ana Martinovici

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Marketing Management

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 04, 2019

Abstract

This research tests the idea that the trajectories of attention and the accumulation of utility of the options in complex choice tasks are closely aligned, as implied by rational inattention theory. If supported, trajectories of attention would reflect higher-order preference formation processes, which are otherwise unobservable. To test the idea, we conducted an eye-tracking experiment with a representative sample of 324 consumers who chose one of five brands of smartphones. We estimated a new generalized Sequential Sampling Model to describe how trajectories of the quantity and three specific types of attention to brands (integration, comparison, and other) align with utility accumulation and choice.

Our findings extend rational inattention theory by revealing how, in particular, integration attention, accounts for brand choice already early on during the choice task, and that stickiness in choices arises from attention processes rather than from habits and mere inertia. These findings reveal the tight, potentially neurological, link between attention and utility, and have implications for consumer choice theory and practice.

Keywords: Attention and Brand Choice, Complex Decision-Making, Utility Accumulation, Eye-Tracking

Suggested Citation

Pieters, F. G. M. (Rik) and Erdem, Tulin and Martinovici, Ana, Eye-movements, Attention, and Utility Accumulation During Brand Choice (February 04, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3826285 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3826285

F. G. M. (Rik) Pieters

Tilburg University, CentER ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Tulin Erdem

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Suite 9-160
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing ( email )

Henry Kaufman Ctr
44 W 4 St.
New York, NY
United States

Ana Martinovici (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Marketing Management ( email )

3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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