Assessing cue usage in performance contexts: A comparison between eye-movement and concurrent verbal report methods

Abstract

The relationship between eye fixations and concurrent verbal reports as measures of selective attention was examined in two different performance contexts. Experienced and less experienced soccer players were presented with filmed action sequences. In Experiment 1, subjects reacted to 11-versus-11 soccer simulations; in Experiment 2, 3-versus-3 situations were presented. Each study involved two experimental conditions: (1) visual fixations were recorded using an eye-movement system and (2) subjects continuously verbalized the location of their visual attention. In 11-versus-11 situations, there were no differences in performance across the two conditions, indicating that verbalization had no effect on performance. Also, there were no differences between the two methods in identifying important information sources. In 3-versus-3 situations, concurrent verbalization resulted in reactivity. Moreover, there were differences between the two methods in identifying important display areas. Findings showed that the relationship between visual fixation and selective attention is dependent on the nature of the stimulus presented. When peripheral vision is employed to extract task-specific information, verbal reports provide a more veritable measure of selective attention; eye fixations may yield a more accurate measure when the task requires information to be extracted foveally. Findings are discussed with regard to the differences between “looking” and “seeing” as a methodological issue.

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Correspondence to A. M. Williams.

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This study was completed as part of the first author’s doctoral degree at the University of Liverpool.

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Williams, A.M., Davids, K. Assessing cue usage in performance contexts: A comparison between eye-movement and concurrent verbal report methods. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers 29, 364–375 (1997). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03200589

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Keywords

  • Soccer Player
  • Choice Reaction Time
  • Verbal Report
  • Peripheral Vision
  • Film Clip