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Best Thing Is Always in the Middle? An Investigation of Centrality Preference By Eye-Tracking Technique and Memory Recall

  • Lap-Yan Lo (a1) and Cheuk-Yu Tsang (a1)
Abstract

An object located in the centre position is believed to be the most attended and well remembered, which increases its likelihood of being chosen (i.e., centrality preference). However, the literature has yielded inconsistent evidence. With the support of an eye-tracking technique, this study tried to provide another means of examining the relationship between preference and attention. Thirty undergraduates were asked to choose one of five similar items presented on a horizontal line. The findings on eye fixation points and looking duration positively related to the probability of an item being chosen as the preferred item. Yet performance in a recall test revealed an independence between preference and remembering. Furthermore, an unexpectedly large proportion of the participants also preferred the items on the leftmost side of the array. The mental number line and social norms, together with centrality preference, were used to provide an explanation of our implicit preference in decision making.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: L.Y. Lo, Department of Couselling and Psychology, Hong Kong Shue Yan University, 10 Wai Tsui Crescent, Braemar Hill, North Point, Hong Kong. Email: lylo@hksyu.edu
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