Honolulu, Hawai‘i October 9-12

kristin divis laura matzenlaura McNamara
Kristin Divis, Laura Matzen, & Laura A. McNamara, Sandia National Laboratories

Tuesday, 9 October, 13:00–16:00, East-West Center
25 participants, fee: $100


Eye tracking systems have migrated out of their native laboratories into the wide world of UX and applied consumer research. Can this technology really measure attention, reveal subconscious behavior, and eliminate social desirability bias? What can cognitive psychology tell us about visual perception and cognition? What kinds of research questions can eye tracking legitimately answer, and when is someone trying to sell you snake oil?

In this tutorial, an anthropologist, cognitive neuroscientist, and cognitive psychologist will give you the background and tools to critically evaluate eye tracking studies and start using it in your own applied research. Participants will practice evaluating and building robust research designs and have the chance see two eye tracking systems in action. You will learn:

  • key concepts in cognitive psychology and how the creation and interpretation of evidence in this field compares to ethnographic practice
  • how eye trackers work and what they measure
  • important considerations when selecting an eye tracker
  • research design elements that are crucial for collecting informative, valid, and actionable eye tracking data
  • how to sniff out eye tracking snake oil

No prior experience with eye tracking is required for participation in this tutorial. We will ask those who register to complete a short survey on their knowledge of eye tracking, so we can gear the tutorial to the experience level of the participants.  We will also provide anyone who’s interested a list of references that we’ve found helpful in our own eye tracking adventures.


Kristin Divis is a cognitive scientist who delights in figuring out how to better understand and leverage the human element in national security environments. She holds a PhD from the University of Illinois, specializing in cognitive psychology, visual cognition & human performance, and quantitative psychology. She is a Senior Member of the Technical Staff in the ISR Advanced Exploitation & Human Systems Integration department at Sandia National Laboratories.

Laura Matzenis a Principal Member of the Technical Staff in the Cognitive Science and Systems department at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM. She received a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology with a concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2008.  Her primary research interests lie in using cognitive neuroscience methods such as eye tracking and electroencephalography to understand how humans process and remember information while performing complex reasoning tasks.

Laura A. McNamara is Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories.  She works in ISR Advanced Exploitation and Human Systems Integration, promoting system usability, usefulness, and adoptability for the operational users of RF and electro-optical remote sensing systems.  She holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico.

How to Register

Tutorial registration is open to all EPIC2018 attendees. You can purchase tutorial tickets during conference registration, or login to your existing registration and add a tutorial. When tutorials fill you may join the waitlist, but we recommend registering for your second-choice tutorial, since we see very few cancellations.