Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Peter Vietze

Committee Member

Ruth Propper

Committee Member

Nicole Lytle


Eye-tracking is becoming more prevalent in studying various phenomena in psychology. The physiological behavior of eye gaze can reveal psychological processes that may not be conscious. The current study explored whether gaze behavior can be linked to political attitudes. Participants looked at pictures of political candidates with an audio clip of one of their speeches playing as an eye-tracker recorded their gaze behavior. Participants were asked to rate the candidates on an attitude scale. Results showed that only attitudes toward Donald Trump were correlated with gaze duration. In addition, the survey showed that participants gave significantly more extreme answers (either a 1 or a 6) for Trump. This suggests that gaze behavior may correlate only with strong attitudes. This study introduces a possible new way to study attitudes toward visual stimuli.

Included in

Psychology Commons