An Overview of How Eye Tracking Is Used in Communication Research

  • Nadine BolEmail author
  • Sophie C. Boerman
  • Jennifer C. Romano Bergstrom
  • Sanne Kruikemeier
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9737)


Eye tracking gives communication scholars the opportunity to move beyond self-reported measures by examining more precisely how much visual attention is paid to information. However, we lack insight into how eye-tracking data is used in communication research. This literature review provides an overview of how eye tracking is used in communication research by examining published articles from the top-25 ranked communication journals between 2005 and 2015. Our results showed that most eye-tracking research was employed in the field of advertising. Furthermore, most studies used eye tracking to measure (visual) attention and used this as the study’s dependent variable. A wide variety of eye-tracking measures were reported, including fixation time, fixation count, and visual shifts, and a wide variety of eye-tracking devices were used. Our results highlight opportunities for using eye tracking as well as identify other ways of using eye tracking to maximize its potential in communication research.


Eye tracking Communication research (Visual) attention Research methods 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadine Bol
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sophie C. Boerman
    • 1
  • Jennifer C. Romano Bergstrom
    • 2
  • Sanne Kruikemeier
    • 1
  1. 1.Amsterdam School of Communication Research/ASCoRUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.FacebookMenlo ParkUSA

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