It’s one thing to decide among two or three snacks available at a friend’s house. But what do people do when they’re faced with a vending machine offering 36 different options?
A new study using eye-tracking technology suggests that the amount of time people spend looking at individual items may actually help them decide. Findings showed that people tended to choose snacks they spent more time looking at, sometimes even over snacks that they rated more highly.
“We could do pretty well predicting what people would choose based just on their ratings of the snacks available to them. But we could do an even better job by accounting for how much they looked at each item,” said Ian Krajbich, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology and economics at The Ohio State University.