Advanced mouse-tracking analytic techniques for enhancing psychological science

Eric Hehman, Ryan M. Stolier, Jonathan B. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Computer mouse-tracking is a relatively recently developed behavioral methodology that can contribute unique insight into a wide variety of psychological phenomena. By recording mouse movements en route to specific responses on a screen, researchers glean continuous information about tentative commitments to multiple response alternatives over time. This approach yields a richness of data that can be fully explored with a variety of sophisticated analytic techniques, but these approaches are relatively underutilized and can be difficult to adopt. Here we describe several techniques for researchers to examine the onset and timing of evolving decision processes; test the degree of response competition at different time points; assess trajectory complexity with spatial disorder analyses; identify qualitatively distinct psychological processes during response generation; and finally to distill unique and meaningful components from mouse-tracking data for subsequent analysis. With this guide, we hope researchers can address novel hypotheses otherwise inaccessible with more traditional methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-401
Number of pages18
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 9 2015


  • computer mouse-tracking
  • face perception
  • impression formation
  • person perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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