We used eye tracking to measure visual attention to tobacco products and pro- and anti-tobacco advertisements (pro-ads and anti-ads) during a shopping task in a three-dimensional virtual convenience store. We used eye-tracking hardware to track the percentage of fixations (number of times the eye was essentially stationary; F) and dwell time (time spent looking at an object; DT) for several categories of objects and ads for 30 adult current cigarette smokers. We used Wald F-tests to compare fixations and dwell time across categories, adjusting comparisons of ads by the number of each type of ad. Overall, unadjusted for the number of each object, participants focused significantly greater attention on snacks and drinks and tobacco products than ads (all P < 0.005). Adjusting for the number of each type of ad viewed, participants devoted significantly greater visual attention to pro-ads than anti-ads or ads unrelated to tobacco (P < 0.001). Visual attention for anti-ads was significantly greater when the ads were placed on the store’s external walls or hung from the ceiling than when placed on the gas pump or floor (P < 0.005). In a cluttered convenience store environment, anti-ads at the point of sale have to compete with many other stimuli. Restrictions on tobacco product displays and advertisements at the point of sale could reduce the stimuli that attract smokers’ attention away from anti-ads.
Visual attention to tobacco-related stimuli in a 3D virtual store
By Lauren M. Dutra, James Nonnemaker, Nathaniel Taylor, Ashley Feld, Brian Bradfield, John Holloway, Edward (Chip) Hill, Annice Kim.
May 2020 Open Access Peer Reviewed
Dutra, L. M., Nonnemaker, J., Taylor, N., Feld, A., Bradfield, B., Holloway, J., Hill, E. C., & Kim, A. (2020). Visual attention to tobacco-related stimuli in a 3D virtual store. RTI Press. RTI Press Publication No. RR-0036-2005 https://doi.org/10.3768/rtipress.2020.rr.0036.2005
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