People increasingly turn to news on mobile devices, often while out and about, attending to daily tasks. Yet, we know little about whether attention to and learning from information on a mobile differs by the setting of use. This study builds on Multiple Resource Theory (Wickens, 1984) and the Resource Competition Framework (Oulasvirta et al., 2005) to compare visual attention to a dynamic newsfeed, varying only the setting: private or public. We use mobile eye-tracking to evaluate the effects of setting on attention and assess correspondent learning differences after exposure to the feed, which allows us to uncover a relationship between attention and learning. Findings indicate higher visual attention to mobile newsfeed posts in public, relative to a private setting. Moreover, scrolling through news on a smartphone in public attenuates some knowledge gain but is beneficial for other learning outcomes.
Ohme, J., Searles, K. and De Vresse, C. (2022). Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Volume 27. Full article here.