Perceptual But Not Complex Moral Judgments Can Be Biased by Exploiting the Dynamics of Eye-Gaze

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Can judgments be biased via passive monitoring of eye-gaze? We examined this question using a perceptual discrimination task (Experiment 1) and a complex moral judgment task (Experiment 2). Information about the location of participants’ gaze at particular time-points in a trial was used to prompt responses. When there was no objective perceptual information available to decision-makers, the timing of the prompt had a small, but detectable effect on judgments (Experiment 1). However, this small effect did not scale up to more complex judgments about moral issues (Experiment 2). Our results are consistent with the well-established idea that participants’ judgments are reflected in their eye-gaze, but do not support the recent bold claim of a causal link wherein the timing of a gaze-contingent response-prompt influences complex judgments.

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