Tracing the Process of Rating Decisions through Cursor Movements


To study the decision process during rating tasks, PC cursor trajectories were recorded and analyzed. The trajectories were often successions of rapid saccadic-like movements that are called strokes in this paper. The analysis of strokes revealed that the distribution of strokes differed across tasks as a function of task difficulty. A simple number matching task elicited fewer strokes, shorter response times, and velocity patterns resembling simple ballistic reaching movements. A personality rating task tended to elicit multiple strokes and longer RTs, which caused a typical inverted-U RT effect. The shape and speed of tangential velocity of trajectories may reflect participantfs internal states, especially when cognitive loads are high.

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