Date of Graduation

Fall 2017


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Wayne D. Mitchell


reliability, stability, visual scanning, saliency, faces, individual differences

Subject Categories

Cognition and Perception


Research in social science has been on a continuous self-correcting path as scientists find new ways to look at old problems. Recent technology has given us the ability to perform compounded calculations in a fraction of previous times while recording complex measurements with greater degrees of precision. While this is helpful regarding corporeal measures, quantifying cognition is still a difficult task. Recently, many computer-aided eye tracking devices have been developed and used to validate visual search theories. However, few inquiries have been made assessing the reliability and stability of these methods. This study assessed the reliability and stability of visual attention tasks using the Gazepoint eye-tracker. Visual scanning behaviors of 46 participants were recorded to provide evidence of reliability and stability of four measurement outcomes: (1) total number of fixations, (2) latency to first fixation, (3) total time attending, and (4) total number of switches between areas of interest. All visual scanning measures were found to be stable across stimuli and trials with total number of fixations and total fixation time being the most reliable visual scanning measure. These findings can afford better visual theory development and predictions of subsequent development outcomes.


© Michael Don Mizer

Open Access