Eye-Tracking the Storm: Information Processing of Visual Risk Communication

  • Sutton, Jeannette (PI)
  • Fischer, Laura (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Preliminary research on risk perceptions of visual risk images at UK with student population; tornado scenario designed with partners at Louisville, KY WFO. Initial results have identified textual and visual content as well as message style elements that affect message processing, sometimes in ways not intended by the message sender (such as the use of a colored risk hazard bars to interpret the threat presented geographically on a map depicting a thunderstorm and tornado watch). Next steps include analysis of the eye tracking data and survey data (we expect to have some results to report at the time that the full proposal is due in January). How we fit into VORTEX SE-7 call… we are specifically investigating the interpretations of warnings by members of the public. In particular, we are investigating the interpretations of visual risk communication, that is, graphical risk messages that are attached to and shared via social media messages. We do this by using eye-tracking technology and survey research in an experimental context. From this research we will identify 1) message interpretation (message processing and behavioral intent) 2) visual areas of interest that affect message interpretation 3) demographic factors, including prior tornado experience, that affect message interpretation. The project will result in an understanding of 1) an understanding of visual attention allocation and search patterns for risk messages (maps and tweets) during a fictitious tornado threat, 2) an understanding of the relationship between participant’s prior tornado experience, image type, and tornado threat level on information seeking and processing outcomes, and 3) a preliminary model of visual-risk information seeking and processing.
Effective start/end date9/1/196/30/20


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