Individual looks at television vary enormously in length, and this has previously indicated differences in ongoing cognitive processes. Furthermore, the relative frequency of looks of different lengths may indicate styles of attention to television. This article compares visual attention of 152 subjects across a variety of genres and examines differences located by situation, person, and media perception variables. Attention style was not consistent for individuals but varied for different types of programming and between-program breaks. Situational, person, and media belief variables did not predict the proportions of four types of looks. They did, however, predict differences in the proportion of moderately short (orienting) looks across types of content, but not the previously more important very short (monitoring) or moderately long (engaged) looks. The overall importance of type of content in these results suggests that further research should examine within-program differences in message construction and assess attentional style as patterns or sequences of looks.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language