Modeling eye movements during decision making: a review

Michel Wedel*, Rik Pieters, Ralf van der Lans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This article reviews recent advances in the psychometric and econometric modeling of eye-movements during decision making. Eye movements offer a unique window on unobserved perceptual, cognitive, and evaluative processes of people who are engaged in decision making tasks. They provide new insights into these processes, which are not easily available otherwise, allow for explanations of fundamental search and choice phenomena, and enable predictions of future decisions. We propose a theoretical framework of the search and choice tasks that people commonly engage in and of the underlying cognitive processes involved in those tasks. We discuss how these processes drive specific eye-movement patterns. Our framework emphasizes the central role of task and strategy switching for complex goal attainment. We place the extant literature within that framework, highlight recent advances in modeling eye-movement behaviors during search and choice, discuss limitations, challenges, and open problems. An agenda for further psychometric modeling of eye movements during decision making concludes the review.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-729
Number of pages33
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Choice
  • Decision making
  • Eye movements
  • Hidden Markov model
  • Search
  • Task switching


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