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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

A Meta-Analysis On the Effect of Visual Attention on Choice

Published: May 27, 2020


Roopali Bhatnagar, Aarhus University School of Business and Social Science; Jacob Orquin, Aarhus University School of Business and Social Science


visual attention; choice; meta-analysis


Understanding how visual attention influences choice is of great interest to marketers and researchers alike. Despite a large body of research studying the connection between attention and choice, the question of causality remains open. We meta-analyze 18 published and unpublished articles to assess whether and how choice is causally influenced by visual attention. We examine data from studies manipulating attention during decision making. Overall, results show a significant effect of attention on choice, 53.32%, CI95 = [52.39 - 54.25], compared to chance level, 50%. A moderator analysis revealed that this effect could be attributed in part to the attention manipulation paradigm. Marketers can harness the attention-choice effect by, for instance, increasing the number of exposures to a product during decision making or by triggering choices at critical moments during the search and decision process.