Cultural differences in information seeking behaviors: evidence from an eye tracking study

April 14, 2013

Do people from different cultural backgrounds look at online information in the same way?

A very recent study – conducted with eye tracking technique – shows that Spaniard and Arab users have very different visual behaviors when attending information. In particular the experiment compared users scanning search results in Google. The results indicate that participants from the UAE (United Arab Emirates) spent more time on the search engine results page, read more results throughout the page and view each result in more details. In contrast the Spaniards read fewer options and typically attend more only the results on the top of the page.

Tha paper will be presented at the CHI 2013 workshop: Marcos, Mari-Carmen; GarcĂ­a-Gavilanes, Ruth; Bataineh, Emad; Pasarin, Lara. Using Eye Tracking to Identify Cultural Differences in Information Seeking Behavior. Workshop Many People, Many Eyes. CHI’13, April 27-May 2, 2013, Paris, France.

These results support the conceptualization of a previous article “In Prise of Cultural Bias” published on MIT Sloan Management review, positing that Knowledge Management and Information Systems need to be adapted to local cultures.

See the video (in Catalan):

Testing your skills in color vision – gender differences

September 4, 2012

You might have had the impression that women can see and name more colors than men. You are actually right.

Ten percent of men have some kind of color deficienc: mostly, they cannot distinguish red from green. Color blindness is easy to test: can you see the numbers below? If not, you have some degree of color deficiency.

Yet, how is it that women distinguish more colours than men? You can take a test yourself here:

The scientific explanation lies in the receptors we have in the eyes. Human usually have three receptors: one which distinguish black and white, one for blue and yellow, and the third recept distinguishes red from green (sometimes). Apparently some women can have up to 4 receptors!

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