Previous economics literature has explored the role of visual attention on choice in isolation without accounting for other influences such as habits and goals or learning effects, nor their interrelationship. In this paper, we: (i) develop a novel joint framework to explore the relationship between visual attention, observed heterogeneity from stated habits and goals, and choice outcomes while accounting for shorter- and longer-term learning effects; and (ii) investigate whether accounting for these relationships improves model predictive power and behavioral insights. The empirical analysis used an eye-tracked discrete choice experiment on sugar-sweetened beverage purchasing (n = 152 adults with 20 choice tasks). Results suggest that habits, goals, and shorter-term learning are key drivers of information acquisition whereas cumulative choices (longer-term learning) affect subsequent choice outcome. Importantly, ignoring the joint relationship between habits, visual attention and choice may exaggerate the role of visual attention, leading to incorrect behavioral insights and reduced prediction accuracy.
- Sugar-sweetened beverage