Date of Award

12-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Packaging Science

Committee Member

Dr. R. Andrew Hurley, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Charles Tonkin

Committee Member

Dr. E. Jeffery Rhodehamel

Abstract

The technology to understand consumer behavior through eye tracking is becoming more affordable and accessible. When eye tracking is applied within a retail environment, packaging can be evaluated based on the amount of attention obtained. For companies developing products or designing packages, the results of eye tracking could help estimate the likelihood a package will be selected over competitors, what design attributes attract the most attention or how shelf placement impacts sales. Using a physical retail environment with tangible stimuli allows participants to be fully immersed and follow normal shopping behaviors. However, many eye tracking studies are conducted in a digital environment using photos of packages in a simulated retail environment displayed on a monitor. While these studies lack physical immersion, they are typically less expensive. This experiment involves varying the eye tracking technology (mobile eye tracking, on-screen eye tracking, and 3M’s Visual Attention Software) while collecting data on consumer behavior relating to retail packaging. The results from each technology is then compared to determine if varying the eye tracking technology will change the results of how the stimuli performed in the consumer behavior study. Of the 104 on-screen and mobile technology results comparisons, 32% of the results were significantly different. Therefore eye tracking studies could potentially yield different results when analyzing a package depending on which type of technology was utilized.

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