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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

The Non-Intuitive Pattern of Eye Movements During Price Reading: Evidence from Eye-Tracking Analysis

Published: May 27, 2020


Gilles Laurent, ESSEC Business School; Marc Vanhuele, HEC Paris


Price; Consumer Behavior; Eye Tracking


We analyze how a consumer’s eyes move when reading a price: Is it from left to right? Is the cents part neglected? Using eye-tracking we reveal patterns that differ from what previous research on price processing suggested. For prices comprising two euro digits and two cents digits, we find that: (1) reading a price requires multiple fixations; (2) on average, the first fixation is not located on the leftmost digit, but rather between the first third and the middle of the posted price; (3) successive fixations are not organized left-to-right; the first move, following the first fixation, is in majority from right to left, while further moves tend to be in alternate directions, to the right as well as to the left; (4) the cents part attracts about as many fixations as the euro part; (5) reading a price aloud requires 66% more fixations than silent reading.