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Article

Significant Measures of Gaze and Pupil Movement for Evaluating Empathy between Viewers and Digital Content

by 1,†, 1,†, 1 and 2,*
1
Department of Emotion Engineering, Sangmyung University, Seoul 03016, Korea
2
Department of Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, Sangmyung University, Seoul 03016, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Zeljko Zilic
Sensors 2022, 22(5), 1700; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22051700
Received: 31 December 2021 / Revised: 7 February 2022 / Accepted: 18 February 2022 / Published: 22 February 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human-Gait Analysis Based on 3D Cameras and Artificial Vision)
The success of digital content depends largely on whether viewers empathize with stories and narratives. Researchers have investigated the elements that may elicit empathy from viewers. Empathic response involves affective and cognitive processes and is expressed through multiple verbal and nonverbal modalities. Specifically, eye movements communicate emotions and intentions and may reflect an empathic status. This study explores feature changes in eye movements when a viewer empathizes with the video’s content. Seven feature variables of eye movements (change of pupil diameter, peak pupil dilation, very short, mid, over long fixation duration, saccadic amplitude, and saccadic count) were extracted from 47 participants who viewed eight videos (four empathic videos and four non-empathic videos) distributed in a two-dimensional emotion axis (arousal and valence). The results showed that viewers’ saccadic amplitude and peak pupil dilation in the eigenvalues of eye movements increased in the empathic condition. The fixation time and pupil size change showed limited significance, and whether there were asymmetric pupil responses between the left and right pupils remained inconclusive. Our investigation suggests that saccadic amplitude and peak pupil dilation are reliable measures for recognizing whether viewers empathize with content. The findings provide physiological evidence based on eye movements that both affective and cognitive processes accompany empathy during media consumption. View Full-Text
Keywords: empathy evaluation; eye movement; gaze; pupil; fixation; saccade; emotion; cognition; digital content empathy evaluation; eye movement; gaze; pupil; fixation; saccade; emotion; cognition; digital content
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, J.; Park, S.; Cho, A.; Whang, M. Significant Measures of Gaze and Pupil Movement for Evaluating Empathy between Viewers and Digital Content. Sensors 2022, 22, 1700. https://doi.org/10.3390/s22051700

AMA Style

Zhang J, Park S, Cho A, Whang M. Significant Measures of Gaze and Pupil Movement for Evaluating Empathy between Viewers and Digital Content. Sensors. 2022; 22(5):1700. https://doi.org/10.3390/s22051700

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Jing, Sung Park, Ayoung Cho, and Mincheol Whang. 2022. "Significant Measures of Gaze and Pupil Movement for Evaluating Empathy between Viewers and Digital Content" Sensors 22, no. 5: 1700. https://doi.org/10.3390/s22051700

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