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Eye gaze behavior as a measure of social attention

Kaja Smole (2014) Eye gaze behavior as a measure of social attention. MSc thesis.

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    The thesis combined visual attention in a natural environment with behavioral observation. The aim of the thesis was to find out which factors elicit social attention. Social attention in real world settings is caught by several behaviors that are linked to socially relevant information. The hypothesis is that human motion is the basis for recognition and interpretation of social events. Gender, speed, and body motion of the people present in the scene are some of the cues that our brains use to interpret a social event (Shiffrar, 2008). Previous work on social attention was limited to laboratory studies and did not use the dynamic stimuli. In our study we used dynamic stimuli from real world settings and through it trying to explain this phenomenon. The experiment was conducted with the use of electric occulo-graph (EOG) and surveillance videos that contain social events in a natural environment. We projected videos from surveillance cameras of an underground station, on four screens simultaneously. The participant’s task was to observe all screens simultaneously and to look at the things that triggered his or her attention. During the experiment, we followed his or her eye gaze with the EOG device. Tested were 100 people convenience sampled. We are also looking at sex differences, therefore we tested 50 males and 50 females. Our results showed that visual attention is not randomly distributed. People pay greater attention to evolutionary relevant cues, such as intentions of others and unexpected events (potential threat) (Birmingham & Kingstone, 2009). We could show that visual attention can be used as a measure for relevance of a given scene. The research is part of the European FP7 VANAHEIM project.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: biological motion, human motion, eye gaze, social attention, social cue, visual perception
    Number of Pages: 54
    Language of Content: Slovenian and English
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    red. prof. dr. Andrej UleMentor
    prof. dr. Karl GrammerComentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=10265929)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 2576
    Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2014 09:24
    Last Modified: 22 Oct 2014 12:09
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/2576

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