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Eyetracking is commonly used to investigate attentional bias. Although some studies have investigated the internal consistency of eyetracking, data are scarce on the test-retest reliability and agreement of eyetracking to investigate attentional bias. This study reports the test-retest reliability, measurement error, and internal consistency of 12 commonly used outcome measures thought to reflect the different components of attentional bias: overall attention, early attention, and late attention. Healthy participants completed a preferential-looking eyetracking task that involved the presentation of threatening (sensory words, general threat words, and affective words) and nonthreatening words. We used intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) to measure test-retest reliability (ICC > .70 indicates adequate reliability). The ICCs(2, 1) ranged from -.31 to .71. Reliability varied according to the outcome measure and threat word category. Sensory words had a lower mean ICC (.08) than either affective words (.32) or general threat words (.29). A longer exposure time was associated with higher test-retest reliability. All of the outcome measures, except second-run dwell time, demonstrated low measurement error (<6%). Most of the outcome measures reported high internal consistency (α > .93). Recommendations are discussed for improving the reliability of eyetracking tasks in future research.

Original publication




Journal article


Behav res methods

Publication Date





1778 - 1792


Attentional bias, Eyetracking, Preferential looking, Reliability, Threat, Adult, Attention, Attentional Bias, Behavioral Research, Eye Movement Measurements, Female, Humans, Male, Reading, Reproducibility of Results, Signal Detection, Psychological, Vocabulary