Thursday, May 24, 2012

Spotted: relating visuals to emotion --On saliency, affect and focused attention

On saliency, affect and focused attention

Lori McCay-Peet, Mounia Lalmas, Vidhya Navalpakkam

We study how the visual catchiness (saliency) of relevant information impacts user engagement metrics such as focused attention and emotion (affect). Participants completed tasks in one of two conditions, where the task-relevant information either appeared salient or non-salient. Our analysis provides insights into relationships between saliency, focused attention, and affect. Participants reported more distraction in the non-salient condition, and non-salient information was slower to find than salient. Lack-of-saliency led to a negative impact on affect, while saliency maintained positive affect, suggesting its helpfulness. Participants reported that it was easier to focus in the salient condition, although there was no significant improvement in the focused attention scale rating.

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